Twenty five years ago, White Hart Lane was a very different place, as was football in general. In light of the Hillsborough revelations yesterday, there have been numerous mentions of a day two years before the 1989 disaster when Newcastle fans may have been close to something similar. Maybe only differences in the layout of the two grounds prevented it.

Newcastle United travelled there in 1987 full of hope, a fifth round FA Cup tie had everybody excited, a dodgy penalty did for us on the pitch though.

This match is much talked about though for other reasons, in the video commentary you’ll hear reference to ten thousand travelling fans – anyone who was there will tell you if felt like twice as many as half the world seemed to be packed onto the terraces.

If you look to behind the goal on the right you’ll see the Newcastle end, as anybody who was there will tell you, when the Hillsborough disaster happened two years later you couldn’t help looking back at this Spurs match because a combination of fences and massive overcrowding could have been fatal.

Seeing those horrible fences again makes you wonder how they ever came to be there, when you compare how crowded the Newcastle end is compared to the Spurs one (to the left) it is just crazy how the authorities back then could fail to see how there were potential problems.

No wonder Hillsborough happened when they were quite happy to treat football supporters in a way that would have the animal rights brigade up in arms if it was any other species of animal.

We bring you this thought provoking footage courtesy of The Mag’s YouTube channel.

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  • grazsutt

    was there was frightening then to make it worse got over the fence onto cinder track and got hit by a coppers truncheon

  • Porl e

    I was in the middle of the terrace that day; it felt like my feet only touched the ground 40% of the time; the bizarre thing is that there was an empty neutral section to the right that people were not be allowed to filter into. I have often thought back to that day and realized how easily a disaster may have happened through no fault of the supporters corralled into that enclosure

  • jimmymag

    My recollection is of the coppers hitting people who were trying to climb over the fence, to get out of the crush, with their megaphones! Typical of police communication techniques of the time.

    I seem to remember the game wasn’t all ticket and the greedy Yids just packed us in,


  • cc

    I too was at that match your right it was pay at the gate, i remember stood outsie the pub before the game when the teambus arrived and the players couldnt believe it, a masive crowd. i was at the front but i struggled to get over the fence as you had to swing a bit because of the top part and then i joined the overspill into the right hand corner, i remember alf garnett at half time telling us to go in the spurs seats as there ws plenty of room there