'It wasn't safe': The Newcastle fans caught in 'overcrowding' at the Hillsborough away end
Football fans who were caught in crowds at Hillsborough Stadium on Saturday 7 January have said the conditions were "unsafe".
It was during a Newcastle United FA Cup third-round defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, and comes as MP for Liverpool, West Derby, and survivor of the Hillsborough disaster 1989, Ian Byrne, hopes the FA has learnt its lesson and will "listen to fans this time".
Images of the crowds in the away end at the Hillsborough Stadium were shared on social media after 4,500 NUFC fans travelled to Sheffield last weekend.
Credit: Twitter- @JoshGordon8
NUFC fan Cameron Armstrong, from Newcastle, said the conditions were unsafe, especially for children.
Cameron Armstrong said "someone could easily have been hurt".
Mr Armstrong said: "I’ve been to loads of away games over the years, but this one especially stuck out to me of just how busy and crowded the area was.
"Once we were in the concourse it was just so over crowded, it was so narrow and I think there were four and half thousands fans there, it just felt so many more.
"It was dangerous, there were a lot of kids there, at one point I even saw a couple of the dads putting the kids on their shoulders to protect them and get them out of harm's way.
"Fans were holding other fans back to get them [kids] through and people were shouting 'there’s kids there’s kids', to keep them safe.
"Something could have easily went wrong but luckily it didn’t, but it could have easily went wrong and someone could easily have got hurt."
Richard Gallagher-Bond said the Hillsborough stadium is "no longer fit for purpose".
Fellow Newcastle fan Richard Gallagher-Bond, from Cramlington, had a similar experience and said Hillsborough Stadium is not fit for purpose.
He said: "It got really scary was when you went up to the concourse itself because you had thousands of people in this tiny little concourse and there was only like metre wide gap doorways.
"There was just people pushing left right and centre it was really scary."
Mr Gallagher-Bond added: "I have never felt unsafe trying to get to my seat whereas at Hillsborough, I was actually shocked at how bad this stand actually still was.
"I think that stadium just isn’t suitable for purpose now.
"There were five thousands fans that turned up and they all had tickets.
"It just wasn’t suitable-the whole stand needs pulling down."
Ian Byrne, MP for Liverpool, West Derby and survivor of the Hillsborough disaster hopes the FA has learnt its lesson.
Ian Byrne, MP for Liverpool, West Derby, and survivor of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, said his "soul was chilled" seeing images of overcrowding at the match last weekend.
He said: “You’d never have thought that in 2023 you’d be seeing those images again.
“It really brought back bad memories to be honest.
"It was soul chilling and I'm sure thousands and thousands of people who were at Hillsborough that day in 1989 felt exactly the same."
He hopes this time the FA has learnt its lesson and will listen to fans.
Mr Byrne said: "It looks like luckily no one was injured this time and disaster was averted.
"The FA needs to listen this time, obviously we [Liverpool fans] have had a really bad experience with the FA in 1989, so hopefully they've learnt lessons and can actually listen to the fans and believe the them this time, so we can get to the bottom of it.
"Fans are being blamed again, drunken fans are being blamed.
"Newcastle fans got a taste of what we got in 89, so hopefully this time they’ll be listened to."
A spokesperson from South Yorkshire Police said: "While no official reports were made to SYP, we have noted the concerns raised and will be seeking a debrief with the club and Safety Advisory Group to discuss this matter further."
The FA said: "As guidance, we are aware of the matter in question, and we will be looking into it. This will focus on liaising closely with the clubs, police and appropriate safety authorities."
Sheffield Wednesday were approached for comment.
The incident over the weekend comes 34 years after the Hillsborough disaster of April 1989.
Ninety-seven children, women and men lost their lives as a result of the disaster at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest when a severe crush developed.
The oldest victim was 67, the youngest just 10-years-old.
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