Hillsborough move welcomed by Sunderland-based fans’ group

disaster: Liverpool fans clamber up from the terrace below to escape the carnage at the Leppings Lane end of Hillsborough.

disaster: Liverpool fans clamber up from the terrace below to escape the carnage at the Leppings Lane end of Hillsborough.

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THE decision to release all documents relating to the Hillsborough football disaster has been heralded as a victory for democracy.

A Sunderland-based national supporters’ group backed the move, which followed a massive campaign.

During a debate in the House of Commons on Monday, Home Secretary Theresa May agreed to make public up to 300,000 items detailing what happened 22 years ago.

Michael Brunskill, from the Football Supporters’ Federation, based in Ashbrooke, said: “The FSF welcomes the Government’s decision to finally release all papers in relation to the Hillsborough disaster.

“Following the tragic death of 96 football fans on April 15, 1989, disgraceful lies and smears were spread about supporters.

“Sadly many of these myths were allowed to fester, and some still persist thanks to the delay in releasing these papers.

“We hope the House of Commons’ decision on Monday will right that wrong and would encourage every football fan to educate themselves on the subject.

“The FSF gave its full backing to the petition which triggered this Parliamentary debate.

“But this isn’t just a victory for football fans, it’s a victory for society too.”

The Parliamentary debate was initiated because 140,000 people had signed an e-petition calling for it to happen, set up by Liverpool fan Brian Irvine.

Many different MPs spoke during the discussion, including Steve Rotheram, whose constituency includes Anfield stadium and who was there when the tragedy unfolded.

Unusually, there was also applause from the public gallery in response to some of the emotional scenes that were witnessed in Parliament.

There were also calls for the Prime Minister to apologise on behalf of the Government.

Labour frontbencher Andy Burnham said: “Some people are confused as to why a Prime Minister, who obviously wasn’t there 22 years ago, would be forced to make an apology.

“But he apologised after the Saville Report for the atrocities on Bloody Sunday.”

Twitter: @sunderlandecho