Football chants mocking Hillsborough disaster 'not banter', says families of victims

Video report by ITV Granada Reports Merseyside correspondent, Andy Bonner.

The families of victims of the Hillsborough disaster are calling for "vile" chants mocking the tragedy to be stamped out.

Ninety seven Liverpool supporters were unlawfully killed, amid a catalogue of failings, at a 1989 FA Cup semi-final between the Reds and Nottingham Forest.

In recent months, football fans have been caught singing chants including, "The Sun was right" - a direct taunt to Reds fans about a discredited tabloid article about the disaster.

Charlotte Hennessy, who was six when her father James Hennessy was killed in the tragedy, says "enough is enough".

She says away fans of all teams, including her own, need to stop chants about disasters.

"It's not funny. It's not banter": Charlotte Hennessy wants the Premier League to crack down on football chants about tragedies.

Charlotte explained: "These are grown adults that think it's OK to mock death regardless of the tragedy, whether it's Hillsborough at Munich, Heysel, any tragedy.

"It's not funny. It's not banter. People aren't taken into consideration that when you are chanting, you're not taking into any account the mental trauma that survivors and family members have."

Louise Brookes, who lost her brother Andrew Mark Brookes in the disaster, has taken two people to court over abuse she has received online - and she is pursuing others.

She said: "For us to be treated the way we are, I just think that it's absolutely disgraceful but i would like to see firmer action taken.

"I want them literally dragged out of the grounds, I want their season tickets removed and I want them banned from every ground in the country."

Lousie Brookes lost her brother in Hillsborough and is calling for firmer action for fans who chant about the disaster.

MP Ian Byrne says the "incessant" chants are now a weekly occurrence and has urged Premier League chief executive Richard Masters to help tackle the problem.

In an open letter, the MP for Liverpool West Derby, and himself a Hillsborough survivor, told the Premier League that it has a "duty of care" to Liverpool supporters and survivors of the 1989 tragedy, and said the weekly chanting is "shaming the game".

In a letter to Masters, Byrne wrote: "These chants and the people behind them shame the game.

"Since the events of the UEFA final in Paris we have seen many (Hillsborough) survivors triggered and struggling, tragically three survivors have taken their lives this year alone and two since Paris.

"The Premier League has a duty of care to these supporters and the incessant chanting that is now a weekly occurrence must be tackled at the root causes."

A government spokesperson said: “The Hillsborough disaster was a devastating tragedy and we recognise the significant impact it continues to have on those affected, their families and communities.

“The Government is considering its position on the Hillsborough Law and will address it as part of the overarching response to Bishop James Jones’ report which will be published in due course .”

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