Dyche: ‘Not a word deep enough to describe Hillsborough tragedy’
Burnley’s focus tomorrow is on beating Middlesbrough and maintaining their promotion charge.
But before kick-off, there will be a moment to reflect on one of the game’s biggest tragedies, on the weekend of the 25th anniversary of Hillsborough disaster.
All games in the Premier League, Football League, Conference and FA Cup will be delayed by seven minutes, with a minute’s silence to remember the 96 fans who didn’t come back from the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, April 15, 1989.
That game was stopped at 3-06 p.m. as the horror of the crush behind Bruce Grobbelaar’s goal at the Leppings Lane end became apparent.
Clarets boss Sean Dyche was at the game with the Forest youth team, while Michael Duff, also on Forest’s books at the time, was also present
And Dyche feels it is only right that awful day should be commemorated: “It is a fitting way to remember those who went to a football game, and never went home.
“I was a young man at Forest.
“The enormity never really sank in immediacy as it was happening, and then and you get on the coach and go back to our digs then.
“A group of us lived there, all apprentices and young pros, and it was confusing at the time.
“Over the years you probably reflect on it more deeply now because I’ve got children myself and a family. It’s probably strangely more enormous now than when it happened.
“I don’t think I was in a position then at the age of 18 to really absorb the depth of what went on.
“It’s hard to put into words the feelings of what happened.
“Reflecting on it, coming away from it, there’s not a word deep enough to describe how bad it was when you were actually there.
“It did suddenly bring into focus that it is a game.
“There are massive challenges and great things to come out of the game, but it is a game and it certainly gave you clarity - at any age, but certainly as a young man.
“I disagree with the famous Bill Shankly in what he said about life and death.”
He added: “However it’s marked on any given year, of course, anything that can be done to respect that.
“The only shining light was the massive change in stadium, massive change in thinking.
“We would never expect something like that to make it that way, but sometimes in life things like that do happen and there has to be some good come out of it.”