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Opinion

When Newcastle United Came Close To A Hillsborough – Video

2 months ago
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Thirty three years ago, White Hart Lane (Tottenham Hostpur Stadium as now) was a very different place, as was football in general.

When the topic of the Hillsborough tragedy crops up, for many older Newcastle fans, a day just over two years before the 1989 disaster comes to mind, when we could have seen something very similar.

Maybe only differences in the layout of the two grounds prevented it.

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

Seeing this photo (see below) on Twitter today, was a vivid reminder as to why this match is much talked about though for other reasons.

In the video commentary you’ll hear reference to an estimated twelve thousand travelling fans (Newcastle were bottom of the league at the time!) – anyone who was there will tell you it 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 left 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 right) it is just crazy how the authorities back then could fail to see the potential problems.

For a perfect illustration of just how packed in the Newcastle fans were, go to 2.23 on the video (Click play below and then ‘watch on youtube’ and the video starts) when Paul Goddard has a run at goal.

It might be 33 years ago but I remember this day all too clearly.

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