‘Audible screams’: Newcastle United fan shares ‘horrifying’ Hillsborough experience as FA launches probe

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Newcastle United fan Chris described how he could hear ‘several audible screams’ whilst in the concourse at Hillsborough at half time.

Newcastle United fans have been sharing stories of overcrowding in the Leppings Lane End of Hillsborough during their FA Cup 3rd Round meeting with Sheffield Wednesday.

The FA has confirmed that it is looking into reports of concern from fans, whilst the Newcastle United Supporter's Trust is collecting experiences from attending supporters.

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Newcastle-upon-Tyne MP Chi Onwurah called on the Government to look into what happened, just one year on from a similar situation experienced by Magpies fans at Elland Road, labelling the reports of overcrowing as 'unacceptable'.

One of the 4,500 Newcastle fans who made the trip to South Yorkshire was 37-year-old Chris, who shared his experience with Newcastle World.

Chris said: "On getting to the ground, we were met with a massive crowd of NUFC fans trying to get through the stewards searching. It was bad 30 mins prior to kick-off, so I’d hate to have seen it 15 minutes later. There was one steward per section, individually searching everyone. The backfill must’ve been horrific for the later arrivals."

The Magpies fan went on to say that once in the stadium, there were no problems for him in the stand itself, although he acknowledged other fans had shared different experiences.

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For Chris, problems in the crowd organisation came at half-time. He said: "The concourse in that away end is unsuitable for 2,000 fans, let alone 4,500. We were like tinned sardines in there and it took me the full 15-minute break just to get through the crowd to the toilet.

"As a fully grown adult, I was not in any great fear for my safety but I’d imagine it would’ve been horrifying for children. I heard several audible screams whilst in the concourse at half-time and the proximity to other individuals was uncomfortable to say the least - barely an inch to spare."

Newcastle fans have spoken of overcrowding at the League 1 ground (Image: Getty Images)Newcastle fans have spoken of overcrowding at the League 1 ground (Image: Getty Images)
Newcastle fans have spoken of overcrowding at the League 1 ground (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

Writing on social media earlier today, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Central MP Chi Onwurah acknowledged worries from the fanbase and promised to put the question to the government.

Ms Onwurah said: "34 years from the Hillsborough disaster at the same ground and same end - this is unacceptable. No fan should ever be subject to overcrowding and safety risks when attending a football match.

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"Today, I will be asking the govt what actions they are taking in light of these events.

“This happened less than a year after #NUFC fans experienced similar safety issues at Elland Road. At the time, the govt said they were working with SGSA to ensure fan safety, yet this is another incident where fans are facing unacceptable safety risks."

South Yorkshire Police have said: “While no official reports were made to SYP, we have noted the concerns raised and will be seeking a debrief with the club and Safety Advisory Group to discuss this matter further.”

NewcastleWorld has contacted Sheffield Wednesday for a statement.

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