Retired officer under fire over 'good job' message was on duty at Hillsborough

Retired officer under fire over 'good job' message was on duty at Hillsborough

Retired police officer Rick Naylor, who has been criticised after saying officers who served in South Yorkshire in the 1980s "did a good job" despite the deaths of 96 fans at Hillsborough, was on duty at the stadium on the day of the disaster.

In a witness statement submitted to the Hillsborough Independent Panel, Mr Naylor told how he saw fans caught up in a "terrific crush" just after kick-off at the FA Cup semi-final in 1989.

Soon afterwards Mr Naylor, who is now secretary of the South Yorkshire branch of the National Association of Retired Police Officers, saw fans lying on the pitch being given mouth to mouth, but said officers did not receive instructions to go to the aid of the stricken supporters.

In his statement, Mr Naylor said that before the disaster he spoke to Liverpool fans in the stadium, "all of whom were friendly, happy and none of whom appeared to have been drinking intoxicants".

He added: "As the match kicked off at 3pm I noticed a sudden surge of approximately 150 to 200 spectators rush past the side of the West Stand onto the terracing behind Gate 1, which had previously been relatively sparsely populated."

He said that at the same time he saw fans surge forward in the two centre pens on the Leppings Lane terracing "resulting in a sort of domino effect with all supporters surging onto the fencing around the perimeter of the terracing".

Fans were climbing the fence to escape a "terrific crush", he said.

He added: "As more and more spectators got onto the ground, I saw people being given mouth to mouth and heart massage and it became apparent that people were badly injured or even dead.

"However, from the time the game was stopped it seemed 20 minutes or so before any message or instructions were passed over to the police radio and I cannot remember any directions for police officers to go onto the pitch or stay where they were and it was apparently left to individual officers' discretion."

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