Timeline for April 15th 1989
12.00 noon Supporters start to arrive at Leppings Lane / outside the ground.
2.00pm Duckenfield and Murray go to Police Control Room.
2.30 to 2.40pm Large concentration of supporters bottlenecked outside the turnstile area.
2.38pm Strong surge along dividing fence enclosing pens 3 and 4.
2.39pm Boy carried out through Gate C.
2.40pm Request sent to Police Control to send spare mounted officers to Leppings Lane End.
Announcement on tannoy system asks people to move forward. Further surge in pens 3 & 4.
2.42pm Radio system develops fault for several minutes.
2.47pm Request from Marshall to open gates at Leppings Lane End.
2.48pm Gate C opened to eject supporter. Others enter before gate C closed again.
2.50pm Pens 3 & 4 are full. Inspector Sewell deploys 60 officers to the track, the West Stand and Gate A.
2.51pm Football teams announced over the tannoy.
2.52pm Message from Marshall that people outside might be killed if gates are not opened. Gate C opened on
Duckenfield’s orders, allowing 2000 supporters to enter.
2.54pm Teams come on to the pitch.
2.57pm Gate C closed again.
2.59pm People in the pens start climbing over the perimeter fence to escape the crush.
3.00pm The match kicks off. Call from Constable Waugh at SYPHQ asking if ambulances required.
Answer no. Gate 1 opened to allow supporters into enclosure. Jackson sees supporters on pitch and goes up
to the Police Control Room to report.
3.04pm Beardsley strikes the crossbar at the Kop end. Inevitable surge in the pens.
3.05pm Crush barrier towards the front of pen 3 gives way, causing supporters to fall over.
3.06pm Match stopped by referee when Greenwood approaches him on the pitch. Murray radios for a fleet
3.10pm Jackson asked to confirm Operation Support by Force Incident Room. Request to Control from
perimeter fence for bolt cutters.
3.13pm First ambulance (from St. John’s) comes on to the pitch at the North East corner and drives to the
perimeter fence close to gate 3. Requests for cutting gear and for the fire brigade made by Bichard, who is
then informed that supporters had forced Gate C.
3.17pm Kelly, Kirton and Mackrell go to the Control Room for information. Duckenfield says he thinks there
are fatalities and the game is likely to be abandoned. He also says there has been an inrush of supporters and
that Gate C had been forced open.
3.17pm Ambulances begin to arrive at the Penistone Rd entrance.
3.20pm Second ambulance enters the ground.
3.22pm Fire Brigade turns up at both Leppings Lane & Penistone Rd and is told by a police inspector,
“I don’t think we really need you.”
3.29pm Requests made for doctors and nurses at the ground.
3.30pm Meeting in the club boardroom with Duckenfield, Jackson, Kelly, the match referee and
representatives of the three clubs. Duckenfield indicates that the match is likely to be abandoned.
3.35pm Detective Chief Superintendent Addis makes contact via telephone with Control.
3.35-3.36pm Edwards’ ambulance enters the ground.
3.40pm BBC Radio Two: ‘’Unconfirmed reports are that a door was broken at the end that was holding
4.30pm Last casualties leave the ground.
5.15pm Duckenfield and Jackson travel to SYP HQ.
5.45pm Chief Constable Peter Wright and his deputy meet Duckenfield and Jackson.
Between 4.30pm on April 15th and 9am on April 16th Two CCTV tapes are stolen from ground’s
Police Control Room. The crime and motive remain unsolved.