Andy Burnham has joined fellow politicians and campaigners in once again calling for the introduction of a new ‘Hillsborough Law’.
Following the airing of hit ITV drama Anne starring Bolton-born actress Maxine Peake, which captivated audiences by telling the story of Anne Williams – who’s son Kevin was one of 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives in the tragic event on the Leppings Lane terrace at the Sheffield stadium in 1989, and so she became a key campaigner for justice – the Mayor of Greater Manchester is now calling for a “fundamental reform”.
Mr Burnham paid tribute to the programme – in which he himself was depicted as a character, portrayed by actor Matthew McNulty – before saying that the current legal system is “cruel” for bereaved families.
The Mayor said he will be joining campaigners and Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram on Friday to demand change after repeating their support for the law’s introduction.
Unfamiliar with the ‘Hillsborough Law’ and what it’s calling for?
The law – which was first brought to Parliament by Andy Burnham himself back in 2017 when he was an MP – would bring in a number of measures, including giving bereaved families better access to money for legal representation at inquests, and forcing public authorities to tell the truth during legal proceedings.
Mr Burnham says a change in the law is urgently needed to stop “a pattern” of a lack of candour “repeating itself”.
Speaking from the heart in a new campaign video shared to social media, Mr Burnham – who is an Everton fan, but has been has repeatedly scathing about the way the Hillsborough families have been treated by the legal system during their three-decade long fight for justice – said: “If we had a Hillsborough Law, it would make this country a place where truth and justice are more likely to happen.
“The lack of fairness in the system has meant we constantly see the same mistakes of history repeating themselves.
“We’ve seen what’s happened to the Hillsborough families, but also the families that have suffered from the contaminated blood scandal, and today, families fighting for justice for Grenfell.
“This is a pattern that keeps on repeating itself, and until we have a Hillsborough Law, that pattern won’t be broken.”
Read more:New Hillsborough disaster drama Anne will air on ITV this weekend
He added in his press briefing this afternoon that: “The Hillsborough Law is shorthand for a comprehensive, fundamental reform of the legal and criminal justice system, to level up the scales of justice in favour of bereaved families.”
Mr Burnham said the government also had a role to play in responding to a report issued several years ago that outlines the experiences of the Hillsborough families in their fight for justice.
The report made a number of recommendations for legal changes.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester added that: “People have been touched by Anne’s story, moved by what they have seen, and by the way, this will continue to go on until the system is fundamentally changed.
“Friday will be a major intervention with people from all walks of life coming together to make the call for a Hillsborough Law now.”
Police appeal for information regarding ‘serious assault’ around Old Trafford before United game in October
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are appealing for fresh information on a “serious assault” committed around the Old Trafford area earlier this year.
GMP issued a press release on Friday, 9 December, asking for members of the public to come forward and share any details they might have on the attack carried along Seymour Grove in Trafford around 1:30pm on 16 October 2022.
They go on to explain that “a man in his 20s was assaulted by a group of unknown males” on the way to the game at Old Trafford, adding that “it is believed that the suspects were also attending the Manchester United vs Newcastle United match.”
It remains unclear whether or not the assailants were travelling fans in town to support the away side but GMP are looking to speak to the men pictured as they may be able to help with enquiries.
As detailed in the statement, “the victim suffered a severely broken jaw, a broken nose, numerous cuts to the face, and damage to the nerves of four teeth which he is likely to need further medical treatment for.” Terrible stuff.
The authorities are continuing to investigate the Seymour Grove assault after having followed up on a number of lines of enquiry since the incident took place and are now asking for the public’s help.
Anyone with information, or anyone who may have footage/images, or can identify the men in the photos, can contact Greater Manchester Police on 101, quoting log number 1589 on 16/10/22; or, alternatively use the Live Chat service HERE.
Alternatively, information can be shared anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Featured Image — Greater Manchester Police/David Dixon (via Geograph)
Football fans call out ‘tone-deaf’ FA TikTok for mocking ‘life-threatening’ head injury
Football fans are calling out the official FA Cup TikTok account for mocking a serious head injury suffered by a Stockport County player earlier this week.
The Hatters beat Charlton Athletic in fine fashion with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday, 7 December, with Will Collar’s hattrick (the club’s first since 2019) sending them through to the next round of the cup.
However, another notable moment from the night was right back Macauley Southam-Hales’ collision with advertising hoarders after a shove from Charlton captain George Dobson.
As the likes of County fan Joel Ward wrote on Twitter, many online were quick to slam the clip for joking about an injury that hospitalised the player, the consensus being that it isn’t a “great look” for the FA.
While many reacting in the comments recognised that Dobson didn’t intend to hurt Southam-Hales by shepherding the ball out of play, the Stockport defender does hit the predominantly metal structure with some force and was left in clear discomfort following the smash.
The video itself has since been removed from the official account following the backlash but people are still reacting as the clip continues to be reshared on social media.
The clip was branded as everything from “disgusting” and “disgraceful” to “simply unbelievable”.
What’s most concerning is that despite the recent push to promote awareness surrounding concussions, brain trauma and even heading the ball – which, historically, haven’t been properly monitored in football – whoever posted the video on behalf of the FA didn’t consider the very serious nature of the incident.
As alluded to above, perhaps what makes the post even more shocking and tone-deaf is that it comes just weeks after Bath City player forward Alex Fletcher was placed in intensive care following an almost identical accident.
The 23-year-old underwent life-saving brain surgery and although he has since been discharged from the hospital, he is said to have a “long road to recovery ahead of him”.
County confirmed that despite being the all-clear pitchside, Southam-Hales was taken to the hospital as a precaution after he suffered significant swelling around the neck area. Nevertheless, as we know all too well, it could have been much worse.
As for the FA, they have now apologised for the inappropriate attempt at humour, confirming that they have removed the video from all official accounts, admitting that “it should never have been published and assuring that they will “review [their] processes to ensure this never happens again.”
You can watch the full highlights from Stockport County vs Charlton Athletic HERE but we’d recommend you watch Alan Shearer reminding everyone who plays football to be more vigilant when it comes to head injuries.