I was in the away end at Old Trafford Hillsborough day. Man U fans were cheering at half time at the report of trouble but we had no real idea of what happened until we got back to the car and put the radio. It was very sobering, we were feeling great from a fantastic win but put the radio on and quickly had an o poo reaction.
For the Bradford fire game I'd gone on the football special, it was bedlam. The ground was away from the station so they had put double deckers on to take us, some of the lad were ripping the seats out and throwing them out of the window and the motorcycle coppers. This lead to a great comedy monemt as a copper charged upstairs, truncheon out and shouted any more of that and you'll all be going down the civic, boyo's. Any authority he had disapeared as he said boyo's in his thick Welsh accent everone turn and laughed in hid face. We got to the graound and they must have given us more than the usual away end so segregation was a line of copper and a wire fence. They did fancy themselves as hard, there was grafiti all over their bogs, Newport hardest mob in wales. They probably were hard, but there was far more of us than them, they did goad us all game but legged it when some Derby went over the fence. There was another comedy moment when one of their boy stepped through the line of copper and shouted come on then and gesticulated. The neaest cop grabbed him by the collar, marched him right nest to the Derby fans and invited him to have a go. He was hauled off by the cop to many jeers when he declined to have a go. We heard about the fire from someones radio on the train.
The Birmingham incident was the same day I think, and you are right football could be very dicey back then, I didn't look for trouble but had a few near misses.
Having been to Hillsborough so many times I can imagine how it happened and how you would have no chance of moving out of the crush, The fire footage was terrifying, from a bit of smoke to an inferno was only seconds, I could walk to Vally Parade from where I live now so it's a bit closer to home. A few years ago (well 25 or so) i got talking football to a Bradford lad in a nightclub in Leeds. After he while started talking about the fire, and he was clearly still disturbed and a bit unhinged by it so I bourght him a pint. Every so often I'm reminded of him, I hope he's found some peace.