Author Topic: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian  (Read 13545 times)

Offline Timbo's Goals

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Where would all of us affected by Hillsborough have been without Phil Scraton?

It’s a thought that’s occurred to me at each and every key Hillsborough moment over these past three decades and did so once again as I listened intently to his compelling podcast on the Anfield Wrap [linked immediately below], dealing with the absurdity of the establishment’s latest weasel-worded desecration of true justice.

https://www.theanfieldwrap.com/2021/05/podcast-phil-scraton-hillsborough-trial/

Would we ever have seen all the heinous reality twisting and unpalatable lies which so characterized our unbearable tragedy and its aftermath vanquished to the self-serving cesspit from where it was hatched without the priceless input of this indefatigable Liverpudlian and his determination to represent the truth and ensure it prevailed?

So many others, including most notably of course the families themselves, the HJC, Kenny and Marina, Jimmy McGovern, David Conn and Andy Burnham have either throughout the entire period or at key periods and moments during it shouldered the fight for justice. However, could the families, the survivors, those others of us who were there that terrible day as well as the wider Liverpool family and other decent folk who witnessed what happened and knew the truth ever have seen that moment when the truth of that day finally prevailed, had Phil Scraton and his uniquely steadfast forensic approach not been at the very centre of the effort?

Myself, for one, struggle to imagine it, which is why I believe the very least this uniquely extraordinary Liverpudlian deserves is a dedicated thread of his own on the main RAWK website.

I speak as someone who attempted as valiantly as I could in those early pre-internet days following April 15th to right the tirade of unspeakable establishment initiated/media driven wrongs. I did so with countless letters and phone calls to that same baying media that drove the onslaught. Ultimately, it proved to be a largely forlorn task. Indeed, the plethora of closed minds I encountered often seemed almost to take perverse pleasure in rejecting or ignoring any representations made, despite the legitimacy of what I was conveying.

As one lone sympathetic national reporter - Mike Langley of The Sunday People - who did happen to know the true reality put it to me at the time in that perfectly worded catchphrase that has been repeated many times since - “the lies were halfway around the world before the truth had got its boots on’.

And so, despite the findings of the Taylor Report, which for all its shortcomings did cite a failure of police control as a primary finding, it remained the pervading inclination – and in many cases the seemingly determined resolve – of so many beyond the bosom of our home city to vindicate the authorities and blame the fans. It meant the hurt and frustration lingered and the convenient scapegoat rhetoric which was fuelling it was to be reiterated many many times over the ensuing years, each time amplifying our collective anguish at the injustice which it seemed we were impotent to dispel.

Then, some five years after the tragedy in the text of his autobiography came Brian Clough’s despicable slur - “I will always remain convinced that those Liverpool fans who died were killed by Liverpool people”. For many back then, Clough’s words were to add a gravitas to their poisonous rhetoric, affording them even more impetus. And once more written efforts and phone calls to challenge that fresh found impetus of ignorance and venom, admirable as they were, were to prove largely futile in dispelling what so many seemed intent on believing. 

Imagine then all this time the feelings of those poor bereaved families exposed to such a persistent and impenetrable onslaught of lies and misrepresentation. Their innocent loved ones crushed to unimaginable deaths whilst much of the world outside laid the blame at the door of their fellow Liverpudlians.

I saw first hand the distress this sort of mantra inflicted on such folks when back in those early days I met with Phil Hammond and his wife Hilda who had lost their 14 year old son Phillip. Phil, who was then HFSG Vice Chairman, and Hilda had immersed themselves in unearthing the truth of Hillsborough and finding justice for their son but felt impotent in making that truth known to the wider world beyond. Desolate is I think the term that most aptly conveys how they felt back then. They despaired. Both of any semblance of justice ever being dispensed and of any sense of prevailing sensitivity and understanding of their plight in that wider world beyond.

They craved support but in those early pre-internet/pre-HJC days, such support was, by definition, thin on the ground. Thankfully, however, they had Phil Scraton. Back then, Phil Scraton by their side provided them with the human comfort blanket of learned and expert assurance they so desperately needed. How vital and irreplaceable he was to them.

To Phil and Hilda and other bereaved families he represented a virtual knight in shining armour; an erudite Criminology Professor at – and on – their side with his vast insight and knowledge of not only the Hillsborough disaster and all its causes and ramifications but also its place in the wider context of other UK disasters and their own corresponding establishment cover-ups. In those days when the families otherwise felt so alone and isolated, Phil Scraton and his team including Sheila Coleman and Ann Jemphrey were there for them. The Scraton team’s depiction of the denial of justice and the promotion of myth in the aftermath of the disaster in their initial No Last Rights publication provided a desperately needed crutch of perspective and sanity.

Crucially, ever since those early days, at every single stage of the Hillsborough story, Phil Scraton has been there for the families. And let us never forget for fans like us, too. To research, to scrutinize, to analyse, to challenge, to clarify, to advise and represent. His scrupulously researched and presented book, The Truth, provided precisely what it promised on its cover. His tireless ever presence throughout the entire Hillsborough justice process culminated of course in the pivotal role he so clearly played within the Hillsborough Independent Panel which unequivocally absolved the fans of any culpability for the disaster and established the culpability of the authorities, crucially their co-ordinated alteration of witness statements to deflect blame onto the fans.

Down the years so many have made tireless contributions to the pursuit of Hillsborough justice – and we honour them all most notably of course the families themselves – but let us make no mistake, Phil Scraton is the ever present individual who more than anybody else has ensured that the true story and legacy of the Hillsborough tragedy will forever be a matter of public record and not, the shameful obfuscation of reality that, forinstance, we witnessed in Manchester earlier this week with the scandalous establishment manoeuvring to prevent the clearly warranted prosecution of culpable individuals which served to inflict yet more anguish upon innocent and damaged souls.

Phil Scraton’s steadfast resolve after so many years of blocked paths to justice, set against hopelessly besmirched and corrupted odds when any prospect of the momentum that ultimately carried the fight to its rightful conclusion seemed but a romanticised pipe dream is a thing to leave us in awe. His indefatigable determination to right the wrong, complementing it with his expert insight provided the families with a unique expertise to match his innate empathy and became a cornerstone so crucial to their fight as well as the background lubrication to ensure that no matter how slowly for so much of the time they might have been turning, the wheels of justice being pushed never stopped inching forward.
.

RAWK salutes you Phil.
« Last Edit: June 4, 2021, 12:12:03 am by Timbo's Goals »

Offline exiledintheUSA

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2021, 05:13:09 pm »
100% - Thanks for everything Prof.
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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2021, 05:18:43 pm »
I would like to add my thanks.
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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2021, 08:45:56 pm »
Just listened to the podcast.   He’s a very courageous man who was up against an awful lot of powerful people who didn’t want him to succeed and he never once wavered from his task.  Deserves all of our heartfelt gratitude. 

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2021, 09:03:36 pm »
Great post Timbo. He's an incredible man.

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2021, 11:02:53 pm »
Well said Timbo. Wonderful post about a wonderful man.

Thank you always Prof Scraton for spotlighting and articulating the truth when so many others sought (and still seek) to distort and bury it. A courageous and humble man.
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Offline PhilScraton

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2021, 03:31:28 pm »
Wow! What a remarkable tribute. Thank you so much, Timbo ...

I just do what I think - and know - to be the right thing. I remain in awe of the bereaved families and survivors, and those born into the struggle for justice and those who have been lost on the way. Their solidarity in pursuit of truth recognition and acknowledgement, in securing the Panel (which wasn't always plain-sailing!) and the extensive findings in the 2014-16 inquests which laid responsibility for unlawful killing at the doors of the authorities, most specifically the SYP, while exonerating the fans of any responsibility, remain the real victories of the campaigns. What happened last week in no way reduces those hard-won victories.

As last week's appalling comments by Jonathan Goldberg QC demonstrate, however, there is always more work to be done. Phil.
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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2021, 03:39:41 pm »
Great post Timbo and thanks for everything you’ve done and continue to do Phil.

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2021, 10:04:37 pm »
Superb Timbo.

I'd also like to thank publicly Dr. Scraton. When we on this side of the pond had a problem with a Hillsborough denier who had the microphone to spout his lies via a weekly radio and a once a week tv program, I reached out to Phil and he was there on the spot. Ultimately the boycott we started over here had it's impact and he went off the air. He pulled his radio show. And the tv channel dropped him.

No matter where or when Phil Scraton has been a bastion for the Truth.

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #9 on: June 1, 2021, 03:19:04 am »
Where would all of us affected by Hillsborough have been without Phil Scraton?

It’s a thought that’s occurred to me at each and every key Hillsborough moment over these past three decades and did so once again as I listened intently to his compelling podcast on the Anfield Wrap [linked immediately below], dealing with the absurdity of the establishment’s latest weasel-worded desecration of true justice.

https://www.theanfieldwrap.com/2021/05/podcast-phil-scraton-hillsborough-trial/

Would we ever have seen all the heinous reality twisting and unpalatable lies which so characterized our unbearable tragedy and its aftermath vanquished to the self-serving cesspit from where it was hatched without the priceless input of this indefatigable Liverpudlian and his determination to represent the truth and ensure it prevailed?

So many others, including most notably of course the families themselves, the HJC, Jimmy McGovern and Andy Burnham have either throughout the entire period or at key periods and moments during it shouldered the fight for justice. However, could the families, the survivors, those others of us who were there that terrible day as well as the wider Liverpool family and other decent folk who witnessed what happened and knew the truth ever have seen that moment when the truth of that day finally prevailed, had Phil Scraton and his uniquely steadfast forensic approach not been at the very centre of the effort?

Myself, for one, struggle to imagine it, which is why I believe the very least this uniquely extraordinary Liverpudlian deserves is a dedicated thread of his own on the main RAWK website.

I speak as someone who attempted as valiantly as I could in those early pre-internet days following April 15th to right the tirade of unspeakable establishment initiated/media driven wrongs. I did so with countless letters and phone calls to that same baying media that drove the onslaught. Ultimately, it proved to be a largely forlorn task. Indeed, the plethora of closed minds I encountered often seemed almost to take perverse pleasure in rejecting or ignoring any representations made, despite the legitimacy of what I was conveying.

As one lone sympathetic national reporter - Mike Langley of The Sunday People - who did happen to know the true reality put it to me at the time in that perfectly worded catchphrase that has been repeated many times since - “the lies were halfway around the world before the truth had got its boots on’.

And so, despite the findings of the Taylor Report, which for all its shortcomings did cite a failure of police control as a primary finding, it remained the pervading inclination – and in many cases the seemingly determined resolve – of so many beyond the bosom of our home city to vindicate the authorities and blame the fans. It meant the hurt and frustration lingered and the convenient scapegoat rhetoric which was fuelling it was to be reiterated many many times over the ensuing years, each time amplifying our collective anguish at the injustice which it seemed we were impotent to dispel.

Then, some five years after the tragedy in the text of his autobiography came Brian Clough’s despicable slur - “I will always remain convinced that those Liverpool fans who died were killed by Liverpool people”. For many back then, Clough’s words were to add a gravitas to their poisonous rhetoric, affording them even more impetus. And once more written efforts and phone calls to challenge that fresh found impetus of ignorance and venom, admirable as they were, were to prove largely futile in dispelling what so many seemed intent on believing. 

Imagine then all this time the feelings of those poor bereaved families exposed to such a persistent and impenetrable onslaught of lies and misrepresentation. Their innocent loved ones crushed to unimaginable deaths whilst much of the world outside laid the blame at the door of their fellow Liverpudlians.

I saw first hand the distress this sort of mantra inflicted on such folks when back in those early days I met with Phil Hammond and his wife Hilda who had lost their 14 year old son Phillip. Phil, who was then HFSG Vice Chairman, and Hilda had immersed themselves in unearthing the truth of Hillsborough and finding justice for their son but felt impotent in making that truth known to the wider world beyond. Desolate is I think the term that most aptly conveys how they felt back then. They despaired. Both of any semblance of justice ever being dispensed and of any sense of prevailing sensitivity and understanding of their plight in that wider world beyond.

They craved support but in those early pre-internet/pre-HJC days, such support was, by definition, thin on the ground. Thankfully, however, they had Phil Scraton. Back then, Phil Scraton by their side provided them with the human comfort blanket of learned and expert assurance they so desperately needed. How vital and irreplaceable he was to them.

To Phil and Hilda and other bereaved families he represented a virtual knight in shining armour; an erudite Criminology Professor at – and on – their side with his vast insight and knowledge of not only the Hillsborough disaster and all its causes and ramifications but also its place in the wider context of other UK disasters and their own corresponding establishment cover-ups. In those days when the families otherwise felt so alone and isolated, Phil Scraton and his team including Sheila Coleman and Ann Jemphrey were there for them. The Scraton team’s depiction of the denial of justice and the promotion of myth in the aftermath of the disaster in their initial No Last Rights publication provided a desperately needed crutch of perspective and sanity.

Crucially, ever since those early days, at every single stage of the Hillsborough story, Phil Scraton has been there for the families. And let us never forget for fans like us, too. To research, to scrutinize, to analyse, to challenge, to clarify, to advise and represent. His scrupulously researched and presented book, The Truth, provided precisely what it promised on its cover. His tireless ever presence throughout the entire Hillsborough justice process culminated of course in the pivotal role he so clearly played within the Hillsborough Independent Panel which unequivocally absolved the fans of any culpability for the disaster and established the culpability of the authorities, crucially their co-ordinated alteration of witness statements to deflect blame onto the fans.

Down the years so many have made tireless contributions to the pursuit of Hillsborough justice – and we honour them all most notably of course the families themselves – but let us make no mistake, Phil Scraton is the ever present individual who more than anybody else has ensured that the true story and legacy of the Hillsborough tragedy will forever be a matter of public record and not, the shameful obfuscation of reality that, forinstance, we witnessed in Manchester earlier this week with the scandalous establishment manoeuvring to prevent the clearly warranted prosecution of culpable individuals which served to inflict yet more anguish upon innocent and damaged souls.

Phil Scraton’s steadfast resolve after so many years of blocked paths to justice, set against hopelessly besmirched and corrupted odds when any prospect of the momentum that ultimately carried the fight to its rightful conclusion seemed but a romanticised pipe dream is a thing to leave us in awe. His indefatigable determination to right the wrong, complementing it with his expert insight provided the families with a unique expertise to match his innate empathy and became a cornerstone so crucial to their fight as well as the background lubrication to ensure that no matter how slowly for so much of the time they might have been turning, the wheels of justice being pushed never stopped inching forward.
.

RAWK salutes you Phil.


Thank you Al for starting this thread to honor Dr. Phil Scraton!   I am going to tell an adjacent personal story here.

Being a midwestern yank, who was introduced to Liverpool FC by my first soccer coach (Neil) from Birkenhead who came to America to play college footy in my hometown, my first exposure to the club was via emissary.  Neil (or Coach as I call him) is my first red inspiration, meeting him at age 9 at the University of Evansville Soccer Camp.  Later on, my school was lucky enough to snare him as a History teacher and coach and he decided to stay in the US, getting married - so I got spend a great deal of time with this Scouser who has been so influential in my life.  He is the kind of person who loves to learn, derives pleasure from being disciplined, and always found a way to motivate his players/students.  He would play the Beatles music non-stop, tell us " privileged yank kids" we were all soft and wouldn't last a day in Birkenhead in the 70s, and wouldn't call us by our given names but by his own labels of current or former Liverpool FC players.   I was lucky because he called me Dalglish - something he still does to this day :)     Why is this relevant?

I did not come to love the club by living in anywhere near Merseyside nor have I met surviving families from Hillsborough in person.   So any credibility for me in these kinds of discussions on the topic almost always involves listening, remembering, researching, reading and being sensitive to the history, the families, and the communities most affected.  I was not there and my proximity to the disaster and its ramifications for families is an exercise in empathy first, never fully comprehending the pain and anguish this has caused the community for such a long time. No one really needs a sentimental yank projecting onto people thoughts and ideas from afar, regardless of the solidarity and anger.   

Nevertheless, when I consider the work of Dr. Phil Scraton as well as the work of the families, I am in awe of their fortitude.  Over 30 years of trauma, an open public wound without the cool salve of justice. This fight has been a long, painful miscarriage of justice.  And yet, we have in our midst someone who has been a real hero.   Phil has been someone who has

1. Translated the legal ramification at every point,
2. Worked with surviving families to support and communicate the legal fight
3. Fiercely advocated for individuals, families and the community
4. Grieved and Proceeded to fight on

From this yanks perspective, this cannot have been easy.  Living smack dab in the middle of neoliberal hyper-capitalist hell culture near Washington DC, I am reminded every day that modern power has "a tripartite nature".   It looks baffoonish, a circus of chaos, but the interests served are three pronged in nature.   

There is the state, who purports and advertizes their democracy bona fides likes a Pepsi commercial, but are beholden to other big money/power interests.   There are corporations (especially in media) who are there to shape people's opinions, manufacture consent, and print the news that their billionaire benefactors ask them to.  And there also is a hidden system, one that we only get to see in small doses (they deal with secrets, military objectives, and surveillance).   They read our phones, emails, and listen in to our telephone calls and mine it, often called big data.  These three systems work together to protect one another, and to further the aims of global capitalism, and the health of the corporate state.  Police officers exist to protect the impotence of the political state, the greed of the corporate state, and the stealth of the surveillance state.  As Phil stated in the podcast, the truth about Hillsborough is that it implicates many powerful people.  How does this relate?

Phil has been fighting against systems that do not have remorse, will not be held to account, and will use every dirty trick in the book to avoid being prosecuted.  The fact that the families and their advocates have gotten this far is miraculous.  It is something to celebrate and honor.   It is time to let Phil know how much you appreciate his efforts. 

For me, the podcast located in the OP, really hit home when Phil talked about waking up from a sleep and shouting out in the middle of night --- "They knew".    And his recounting of the terms by which this recent ruling was made is a complete an utter travesty and a stain on the notion of justice. The amount of shit the families and their advocates have been through by all the systems of power (newspapers, police officials, corrupt politicians, judges etc), unwilling to acknowledge what we all know to be true is a lifetime journey.  It did not start today and will not end tomorrow.   However, from my position here in the States, it is important to honor those who took on/still take on these tripartite powers and lend them our voices, our emotions, and our energies of admiration for their efforts.   

THIS CANNOT BE, AND WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN.   There is a different kind of fight ahead, imo.   And before we embark, It is important to honor those who influence us.  As my old coach Neil would have said, "let's get fucking stuck in" like Phil has, and let's honor his/the families efforts to scythe through the weeds and sort this out the Liverpool way.

Phil mate, I have never met you and have only followed your work for a few years now (after learning more about the tragedy and joining RAWK), but I want to thank you personally for all your work to help the families, and to chronicle how the adversaries of JFT96 have behaved.   It is invaluable work, and I imagine it came at a significant cost.

Thank you.

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #10 on: June 1, 2021, 07:53:21 am »
Well said Timbo, Phil Scraton is a remarkable man and this is a very apt thread.
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Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #11 on: June 1, 2021, 03:30:09 pm »
Wow! What a remarkable tribute. Thank you so much, Timbo ...

I just do what I think - and know - to be the right thing. I remain in awe of the bereaved families and survivors, and those born into the struggle for justice and those who have been lost on the way. Their solidarity in pursuit of truth recognition and acknowledgement, in securing the Panel (which wasn't always plain-sailing!) and the extensive findings in the 2014-16 inquests which laid responsibility for unlawful killing at the doors of the authorities, most specifically the SYP, while exonerating the fans of any responsibility, remain the real victories of the campaigns. What happened last week in no way reduces those hard-won victories.

As last week's appalling comments by Jonathan Goldberg QC demonstrate, however, there is always more work to be done. Phil.

To be frank, Phil [sorry  ;D], a dedicated thread on this website to your goodself is decades overdue and I'm a bit embarrassed on behalf of every member of this website that none of us have ever before got around to putting one up. Indeed, when the thread has been in this active section for a few weeks or so John C who is a senior mod is going to pin it up at the top as a sticky so there will always be a permanent reminder on this site as to the unprecedented role you have played on behalf of the families, the survivors, the wider LFC community and the club itself in assuring the besmirching of the fans will forever be consigned to that cesspit from whence it came.


Offline drirfan

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #12 on: June 1, 2021, 04:24:15 pm »
Wow! What a remarkable tribute. Thank you so much, Timbo ...

I just do what I think - and know - to be the right thing. I remain in awe of the bereaved families and survivors, and those born into the struggle for justice and those who have been lost on the way. Their solidarity in pursuit of truth recognition and acknowledgement, in securing the Panel (which wasn't always plain-sailing!) and the extensive findings in the 2014-16 inquests which laid responsibility for unlawful killing at the doors of the authorities, most specifically the SYP, while exonerating the fans of any responsibility, remain the real victories of the campaigns. What happened last week in no way reduces those hard-won victories.

As last week's appalling comments by Jonathan Goldberg QC demonstrate, however, there is always more work to be done. Phil.

You are a legend as far as we Liverpool fans are concerned.Its apt this is my 96th post...YNWA
« Last Edit: June 1, 2021, 04:30:50 pm by drirfan »

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #13 on: June 1, 2021, 05:36:44 pm »
Very nicely done Timbo.

The amount of dedication and self-sacrificing effort that went into the campaign for the Truth is awe-inspiring. But so was the level of technical skill and legal knowledge that was put at the disposal of the Justice campaign. Phil Scraton exemplified that, for sure. He obviously had the skills (and the character) to help give some direction to the search for the exact truth about what happened on 15 April '89.  It must have been a learning experience for him too - as it clearly was for figures like Margaret Aspinall. I don't just mean learning about what happened, but also learning new research skills and presentation skills. In the end our side went into battle with far more knowledge about exactly what had happened at Hillsborough, and why, than the deniers and the liars could ever hope to possess. Far more. But they were also able to convey the truth to a wider public in a clear, a clinical and a passionate way when others might have got lost in all the detail.

That stuff is out there now and the truth will never be stifled again - as much as men like Jonathan Goldberg will continue to try. The campaign is part of Liverpool's social and political history now. Part of the fabric of the city. Long after we have all gone people will continue to refer to the Hillsborough story and use it as an example of what a community can do to fight back against an indifferent State, a hostile police force and powerful vested private interests.

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #14 on: June 1, 2021, 08:21:23 pm »
Wonderful posts Timbo & Trend.

Just want to say thank you Phil for your amazing work over all these years - your contribution to unveiling the truth has been immense and deserves to be recognised.

Apart from my own experience of the events and hearing the families heart-breaking stories - your writings and commentary for me have been the 'go-to' reference for all Hillsborough related issues. Thank you.

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #15 on: June 1, 2021, 10:43:42 pm »
To be frank, Phil [sorry  ;D], a dedicated thread on this website to your goodself is decades overdue and I'm a bit embarrassed on behalf of every member of this website that none of us have ever before got around to putting one up. Indeed, when the thread has been in this active section for a few weeks or so John C who is a senior mod is going to pin it up at the top as a sticky so there will always be a permanent reminder on this site as to the unprecedented role you have played on behalf of the families, the survivors, the wider LFC community and the club itself in assuring the besmirching of the fans will forever be consigned to that cesspit from whence it came.

Very well said Timbo.
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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #16 on: June 2, 2021, 12:58:51 am »
First time I spoke to Phil was a chance encounter. I had no idea who he was or his relevance to Hillsborough. I had always pushed Hillsborough to the back of my mind. Looking back, it was because I couldn't deal with it.

I was 20 years of age and had gone for yet another adventure following the reds. I had a ticket for the north stand but was involved in the crush outside. Furthermore, I watched the devastation unfold. Knowing that I had relatives and friends on the Leppings lane terraces.

From the North Stand I saw fellow Reds take advertising hoardings and use them as emergency stretchers whilst the Police stood ideally by.

I remember coming home numb and listening to Radio Merseyside who had a mix of sympathetic music and tails of taxi drivers and car drivers driving up to Sheffield to bring the injured fans home for free. That was probably the proudest moment  of my life as a Reds fan. 

Imagine how that turned around after the bastard lies of South Yorkshire Police, the gutter press and above all the Tory government.

All of a sudden it was a drunken mob, causing a riot and forcing the gates. The ultimate betrayal, casting those who survived the crush and those who died as the perpetrators.

To this day I still have nightmares about Hillsborough. About the people I pushed out of the way to escape the crush outside the ground, about the people I saw crushed before my eyes. Everyone who was there knew what happened.

It is people like Phil who not only gave the 96 justice but also took a huge burden from the survivors.   

As I say it was a chance encounter with Phil but it truly changed my life.

Thank you so much.
« Last Edit: June 2, 2021, 01:11:09 am by Al 666 »
One thing does need to be said: in the post-Benitez era, there was media-led clamour (but also some politicking going on at the club) to make the club more English; the idea being that the club had lost the very essence of what it means to be ‘Liverpool’. Guillem Ballague 18/11/10

Offline BeingJohnMarkovic

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #17 on: June 2, 2021, 10:36:28 am »
Thanks for everything, Phil. Great tribute post, and fully deserved!
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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #18 on: June 2, 2021, 11:28:04 am »
Thanks for starting this thread Timbo.

I’ve always admired Phil’s hard work and tenacity but taken it for granted that he is there working away.

Now I stop to think what we would have done without him I’m shocked as it doesn’t bear contemplation.

We can’t underestimate his value, I certainly don’t.

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #19 on: June 2, 2021, 11:56:20 am »
Well said Alan.

Phil's book was like my bible years ago, to reference and debunk the crap I used to hear (before sites like this started collating articles etc). I have bought different versions of it throughout the years and given to non lfc supporting colleagues to educate them. Most of them are mancs via the companies I worked for, and to a man they all read it and came back to admit their preconceptions were incorrect.

Thanks for everything Phil
« Last Edit: June 2, 2021, 11:58:17 am by Craig S »

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #20 on: June 2, 2021, 12:41:51 pm »
As most of you know my ex husband was seriously injured at Hillsborough.  He was taken to the Northern General Hospital.    Mike still suffers pain to this day as a direct result of his injuries. 


I want to thank Phi Scraton from the bottom of my heart for everything he has done for us.  It just means so much.
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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #21 on: June 2, 2021, 02:05:32 pm »
Well in Timbo!  :wellin

..and to Phil, the most humble person on this planet.
The admiration for you from us..no words could ever explain.
You are one of us Phil, so much love & respect x
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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #22 on: June 2, 2021, 02:15:32 pm »
Timbo, fantastically well written and conveyed, really enjoyed reading that thoroughly.

Phil, thank you sincerely for all of the hard work you have put in throughout all these years, thank you for perseverance and determination, for being an example of what a great person really is.

God bless you

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #23 on: June 2, 2021, 03:46:29 pm »
A brilliant write up there Timbo, a great read.

And Phil, for having the courage to stand up against the establishment, closing ranks and trying to bury the truth, I salute you. Your perseverance and determination is appreciated by all of us.

get thee to the library before the c*nts close it down

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #24 on: June 2, 2021, 03:47:33 pm »
Thanks to Timbo and all who've contributed, but especially Thanks to you Phil.

Your work; the diligence, the expertise, the patience, so many other qualities, but the big one for me is that whenever I've seen or heard you interviewed, or just read your posts on here, you always come across as a down to earth approachable man.

I knew people affected by the disaster back home, we now live near Birmingham and there's a family locally that has been terribly affected and that's the thing many of the naysayers ignore. This wasn't just a tragedy for the City of Liverpool, it has affected families and communities across the country.

I've worked with many hugely intelligent people over the years, but the combination of first rate intelligence and brilliant people skills is much less common.

All I can say is Thank You again, and if I ever have the pleasure of bumping into you around our wonderful City, or anywhere else for that matter, I'd love to buy you a pint.
« Last Edit: June 2, 2021, 03:51:44 pm by Charlie Adams fried egg »

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #25 on: June 2, 2021, 04:49:57 pm »
Phil's book - The Truth is the most harrowing book I have ever read, but it must have been an even hard thing to write. It laid bare all the evidence that had been denied, ignored and traduced by the government and its associates. Every Liverpool supporter owes Phil a huge debt of gratitude for what he did. A great Scouser.

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #26 on: June 2, 2021, 05:32:17 pm »
I would just like to add my thanks to the fantastic job that Phil did in driving this campaign forward with truth and determination. There were so many people muddying the waters and slandering both the fans and the families but having people like Phil involved meant the deceitfulness of those was never allowed to win. Without the help of people like Phil this campaign would never have managed to achieve half of what it did and we need to put on record the crucial work these people did in turning the tide, that was so completely against us in the beginning. Phil, because of the man he is will try and say he only did what he could, but without people like him nothing would have changed. I should also add that the books he wrote were harrowing but played another important part in convincing other people and educating others over what actually happened that day. It goes without saying we are entirely grateful for his efforts and I wish him all the best for the future.
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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #27 on: June 2, 2021, 06:35:06 pm »
Unusually for me, I'm lost for words.

Big love to Saint Philip of Scraton for all you have done - much of which remains unseen, because of your humility and integrity.....

Kudos to Saint Timbo of Goals for the tribute thread.

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #28 on: June 2, 2021, 10:12:26 pm »
I write this as somebody not from Liverpool but north of the border. Fundraising campaigns happened around the central belt until recent years, in Glasgow and even towns like Livingston (recall that as my brother went to one some ten years back).

And as an outsider, not privy to the sheer depth of emotion and pain that was felt in Liverpool communities, it made it so imperative to galvanise support for this through key figureheads such as Phil Scraton and Margaret Aspinall, to name just two who articulated the forensic detail and heartfelt emotion and passion so compellingly. The knowledge he is able to input in all fans, and the ability of supporters here on this forum to spread that message, has been so vital.

It is a privilege to read threads like this and highlight the key figures who allow the truth to prevail. This community is great and for things like this, this is where it stands head and shoulders above any fan forum I've seen. It is unique - and I apologise for being on this forum for quite a while and not supporting the site. I always wish I could articulate things like many of you here where the passion is so evident on this but believe me when I say that it helps so many of us on here. I'll be sure to donate and help you guys continue to fight the good fight.

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #29 on: June 3, 2021, 01:20:12 am »
Thank you for everything you have done, and continue to do Phil.

People like you who are fighting the fight, educating and putting the truth out there for all to see, means many generations to come will know what truly happened and continues to happen in the fight for justice.

A true Scouser and genuine human.

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #30 on: June 3, 2021, 04:29:36 am »
Tremendous OP. Phil Scraton is an extraordinary human being.

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #31 on: June 3, 2021, 06:38:42 am »
It's mad to think he's not yet been properly honoured by the nation. Like an OBE or something 🤔😜
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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #32 on: June 3, 2021, 08:01:53 am »
Lovely post Timbo. Well done to you too.

One of the great things about this forum is that foreigners like myself can get an insight into and be exposed to tireless Liverpudlian heroes such as Phil and Mrs Aspinall.
It's all good.

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #33 on: June 3, 2021, 08:40:42 am »
Very well said Timbo and thank you for your tireless work Phil.

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #34 on: June 3, 2021, 09:54:42 am »
.
Quality post, Timbo. I can only the echo the sentiment and heartfelt words on display in here.

Thank you for so much, Phil. The Truth shining through thanks to your dedicated and tireless work is something to behold - and stands as a beacon of hope for others.


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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #35 on: June 3, 2021, 10:13:36 am »
Thank you Timbo for this tribute thread to a man who, over the years, has given us many, many things (his time, intelligence, professional knowledge, willpower, integrity, unwavering steadfastness, calm logic and determination), but personally has provided two hugely important, directly linked and comforting services:-

1) The initial, step by step debunking of the lies and presentation of the truth in such an immediately understandable form. A service that swept away any lingering fog and confusion of that terrible day. And...

2) Provided the armoury to fight back. When people you came across believed the lies, you now had weapons to shoot them down...not the right words as I mean calmly and logically, rather than angrily and embittered (although that was always what was raging in the background). You gave us the tools to educate.

Those twin services helped me reach a place of peace even before the verdicts that you rightly say have not changed since the collapsed trial. That place of peace was somewhere that those who knew, knew. And those who persisted with the lies, either ignorantly or even worse wilfully viciously (I.e. they knew) were not worth bothering with. I’m not saying I stopped using your powerful truth to change their minds, I did and I do and I always will, but there’s a comfort from knowing the truth is out there forever.

The truth you worked so hard to present so simply is now understood far beyond the city of Liverpool. There IS solidarity from other clubs’ fans. I’ve seen and heard fans from some of our biggest rivals present the truth to the ignorant amongst their ranks in the wake of last week. Those who know, know...and they understand that it could’ve happened to any of them at the time. This is just one small facet of why we owe such a debt of thanks to Phil. Thank you and to all the countless others.

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #36 on: June 3, 2021, 10:13:59 am »
Those of us who have had family personally scarred for life by Hillsboro have had no greater champion than Phil who has dedicated most of his adult life to the cause.

Saint Phil works for me.

Ta and well done, lid.

Let aplomb conduct your life.

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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #37 on: June 3, 2021, 10:37:13 am »
Fantastic post Timbo and thanks for starting the thread, it's much deserved for Phil.

Not much else I can add, but thanks Phil for all your tireless work - and everyone else involved behind the scenes. Truly inspiring.

Everyone - LFC fans or otherwise - should listen to the latest TAW podcast interview with Phil, by the way.
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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #38 on: June 3, 2021, 11:16:31 am »
Beautiful post Timbo.

Phil is a true inspiration.
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Re: Phil Scraton - a truly remarkable and extraordinary Liverpudlian
« Reply #39 on: June 3, 2021, 11:40:33 am »
It's mad to think he's not yet been properly honoured by the nation. Like an OBE or something 🤔😜

Phil Turned down an OBE in protest about ‘those who remained unresponsive’ to efforts for justice after the tragedy. This is a man of honour and principle. We should be really proud of him.