[ Written by @Lydia130613 ]
I’m sure a lot of you have seen #/YNWA trending sometimes and thought it either was about the BTS album, or you’ve looked and seen a load of tweets about football (or soccer, but I’m going to keep calling it football for this post because I’m British.)
It IS football related as it’s linked to the English club Liverpool Unite. But it actually has a far greater meaning than that, as it’s also linked to a disaster in which 96 LUFC fans died. It was the worst disaster in British sporting history & still has ramifications nearly 30 years on.
I’m going to explain exactly what happened over the next few parts and I’ll put TW at the start of and end of some of it because it’s pretty horrendous. You can skip it if you want. But I think it’s important ARMY understand exactly why this is still so painful for people in the U.K.
On 15 April 1989, a football match took place between two big teams; Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough football stadium in Sheffield. In British domestic football, fans are divided up and use different entrances to avoid violent clashes etc.
Before the match, congestion problems started to build up outside the entrances the Liverpool fans were using. Due to the restrictions on the available entrances they could use (to avoid rival fans) a bottleneck formed and people couldn’t get in or out.
It was requested the game was delayed by 20 mins to ensure everyone got to their allocated areas (‘pens’) safely. This was particularly important because at that time football stands had fencing to try to contain violent fans so they could not leave if they were in the wrong pen.
The request was denied, and instead (ironically to avoid fatalities) the police opened a large exit gate (C) and thousands of people entered the stadium. Normally police and stewards would ensure that pens did not go over capacity. For some reason, this didn’t happen.
(I’m going to stop using pictures here because they’re horrific. You can look it up yourself if you wish.)
Unaware of what was happening, people kept entering the pens, increasing the pressure on those at the front by the fencing. With nowhere to go, they were trapped.
The Liverpool goalkeeper recalls hearing people behind him pleading for help as they were being crushed. It mostly went unnoticed what was happening, but police who did see believed those trying to escape were invading the pitch, so tried to stop them.
There was a surge in the crowd (probably due to what was happening in the game) and one of the barriers broke, thrusting people on top of each other and onto the fencing. People desperately tried to climb out and fans tried to make holes in the fence to save them.
Those who were trapped and survived say that at first, they were shouting for help, then people went quiet trying to conserve air, then silent because they were dead. The dead didn’t even have space to fall, they just stayed standing in the crush. The youngest was just 10 years old.
All this was being broadcast live on TV. The nation saw those people die in front of their eyes. Other fans tried to save the dying, but due to further mistakes, barely any ambulances or paramedics made it into the stadium
End of TW
There were 96 deaths and 766 injuries.
Afterward, there was a huge outpouring of grief and anger, not just because of those lost, but because the police had treated the fans as hooligans rather than protecting them, and because of media reports blaming people the fans themselves.
The aftermath is very complicated to explain but nearly 30 years on the families are still trying to get justice for what happened and for the police to accept responsibility for the horrific events. The survivors are still deeply traumatized and at least 3 have committed suicide.
In terms of the hashtag, it stands for ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’ This is a Gerry and the Pacemakers song that already had ties to Liverpool, but took on greater meaning after the tragedy. It’s now a hymn for the dead.
So please, if you see #/YNWA trending, don’t use it. Don’t make it about BTS. Don’t assume it’s meaningless just because you only see football tweets. It’s not. This hashtag belongs to Liverpool. It belongs to the dead, the survivors, the families. It doesn’t belong to us.
Some people are asking why BTS would use this, so I just want to point out that they used ‘You Never Walk Alone’ rather than ‘You’ll,’ so it is different. However, it’s possible they know about this, particularly as a Hillsborough charity reached out to the families of the victims of the Sewol Ferry disaster, which BTS referenced in the Spring Day MV. There are parallels between both disasters so it may be intentional, I don’t know.
This post is also available as a Twitter thread. If you’re on Twitter, please RT it so we can educate as many ARMYs as possible.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article only represent the views of the author and do not represent the views of BTS ARMY Guide, its partners, the sources used, and/or BigHit Entertainment.