To work in Liverpool on April 15, 1989 was an emotional and draining experience.
It is an experience that never leaves you. The emotions are still raw 20 years on. Yet that Saturday started as any other on the Football Echo, the highly popular sports offshoot of the Liverpool Echo.
With Liverpool facing Nottingham Forest and Everton taking on Norwich in the FA Cup semi-finals, there was the promise of some exciting action.
It was a normal day — until the minutes leading up to Liverpool’s match at Hillsborough.
We became aware from our man at the ground and from graphic television pictures that a tragedy was unfolding. There was a deep sense of sense of concern, not to mention bewilderment in the Echo newsroom, as word came through of Liverpool supporters being killed and injured in the crush. This after all is a newspaper with a strong sense of community and a relationship with its readers that is perhaps second to none.
As the death toll mounted, so did the focus of the Echo. The Echo became a fact sheet as updated editions went on the streets, including Sunday. The next morning I was up early and took my son to play in goal for his team. It was a clear day and the air was fresh. But I could not get it out of my head that so many people had gone to a game and never made it home.