Leeds fans raised safety fears – two years before Hillsborough

Leeds United players Neil Aspin and goalkeeper Mervyn Day try unsuccessfully to block a shot from Coventry City substitute Micky Gynn in the 1987 FA Cup semi final at Hillsborough.Second Division Leeds lost 3-2 to top flight Coventry City, after extra time
Leeds United players Neil Aspin and goalkeeper Mervyn Day try unsuccessfully to block a shot from Coventry City substitute Micky Gynn in the 1987 FA Cup semi final at Hillsborough.Second Division Leeds lost 3-2 to top flight Coventry City, after extra time

I believe different questions need to be answered over what happened prior to the Hillsborough disaster.

Who was in charge of organisation?

Why despite having a greater number of supporters were Liverpool allocated the smaller away end?

Did the police deliberately delay the arrival of Liverpool supporters?

Two years prior to the disaster I was in charge of the Halifax branch of the Leeds United supporters club, we played Coventry city in a semi-final of the F.A. Cup at Hillsborough.

The supporters club had complained that we had been allocated the smaller away end.

We set off early on the day of the match, but the police stopped all Leeds coaches on the motorway hard shoulder for what must have been about two hours.

Fifteen minutes before kick-off we were taken to the ground in a huge convoy,we arrived outside the ground just before kick-off, it was an all ticket match but with thousands arriving at the same time turnstiles could not cope.

It was announced that kick-off would be delayed for 15 minuets,but they still had to open gates to get fans in.

There is a large enclosure behind the Leppings Lane stand, from here everyone just ran up the steps into the central part of the stand, we were crushed into the pens behind the goal, luckily no one was hurt. Leeds lost,we were locked in afterwards .

The supporters club sent out letters of complaint about our treatment, but I think the police thought it a successful operation, possibly adjusting their timing.

Michael Fallon

Hanson Lane, Halifax