Hillsborough referee claimed his statement was changed to say fans were drunk

The referee on duty during the Hillsborough disaster has revealed that a statement he made had been changed to uphold allegations fans were drunk.

Ray Lewis has told an ITV documentary that a typed version of his statement referred to fans as being 'p***ed' when he had originally said 'mixed'.

TV documentary Hillsborough: Smears, Survivors and the Search for Truth, to be aired tonight, features journalist Peter Marshall examining some of the evidence behind the stories of the disaster, in which 96 football fans died.

Mr Lewis, who was on the pitch on April 15 1989, said: "When I received the typed-up version it said these spectators were p***ed. So they changed the word 'mixed' to 'p***ed'.

"The handwriting I must admit from the police superintendent isn't particularly good but I'm sure that anyone who would actually look at that would identify the word is definitely not 'p***ed'.

"So I just feel it's been placed in there to give support possibly to police actions."

Relatives of victims sing 'You'll Never Walk Alone' after the conclusion of the inquest in April. Credit: PA

An inquest into the tragedy held in April concluded that the 96 victims were unlawfully killed and fans were not to blame.

The programme also reveals that former Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards included allegations of bad behaviour of fans in his statement about the tragedy.

Sir Dave, who went on to become chairman of Sheffield Wednesday, described fans shouting lewd comments about a female casualty whose blouse had become unbuttoned, which was later reported in The Sun newspaper.

The programme makers, who say that his description does not match any of the seven women killed in the tragedy, said that letters they sent asking him about his statement were returned unopened.

A witness who reported the same allegations to police was the daughter of a South Yorkshire Police chief inspector who had been on duty at the FA Cup semi-final, the documentary reveals.

Cherry Daniels, whose father is retired officer David Sumner, told programme makers she informed investigating force West Midlands Police about her father's position but was told it was not relevant.

Two investigations into the disaster, Operation Resolve and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) inquiry, are due to hand files to the Crown Prosecution Service in the new year.

  • Hillsborough: Smears, Survivors and the Search for Truth will be shown at 10.40pm tonight on ITV.