Yesterday I watched the Hillsborough memorial service on BBC News. It was as moving as it always is. More so.
As a football fan I understand about Hillsborough. As a Wiganer I understand and admire Roberto Martinez and when he addressed the crowd I was close to tears.
Later I checked twitter to find that the Sky News news presenter Kay Burley had spoken over Martinez’s address saying, “Sky News must distance themselves from some of things he’s saying.”
‘The things he’s saying?’ – the truth you mean.
That was utterly despicable of Sky News but we expect things like that from the company/man that owns The Sun newspaper.
What made it even worse for me is that Burley is from Wigan. Wigan – the town that let Martinez into their hearts. The town that he loves. The town that gave him a chance as a player and as a manager. In return he gave us an FA Cup win.
If Burley was a true Wiganer she would know that and would not have said what she did – whatever somebody may or may not have told her ‘in her ear’.
It was her shout. Not Rupert’s. Hers and she said what she said. She should be ashamed of herself and Wigan should be ashamed of her.
It is quite clear Roberto Martinez is a better Wiganer than Kay Burley will ever be.
But more importantly Roberto Martinez is a better human being than Kay Burley will ever be.
Roberto’s Hillsborough address in full:
“I was only 15 in April 1989 – a football-mad kid and a football-mad family like many of you today – and we heard the news about Hillsborough.
“As a family, we couldn’t believe the pain and horror that the families would get by receiving the news that their loved ones wouldn’t be coming home from a football match .How can anyone die watching the game you love? That isn’t right. That isn’t fair.
“What happened after wasn’t right or fair either. To have to fight for the good name of the ones you lost was appalling but as my chairman (Bill Kenwright) said a year ago, the authorities took on the wrong city if they thought they were going to get away with that.
“It’s only recently that I had the privilege to spend some time in your city; great warmth, great spirit, great friendships and I’ve always seen great determination, passion and commitment for ensuring what’s right and fair.
“Those are the qualities that represents the Hillsborough families – a remarkable group of people. The way you fight for justice has been truly remarkable. Over 25 years, you have overcome so many wrongs.
“For 25 years, you’ve gained the respect of those within and beyond football, and in the city. I know I don’t have to tell you Everton are with you – you know that.
“We are with you today at Goodison Park, where the fans are gathering with the board, the staff and the players because they want to send their prayers, across Stanley Park, to you, and we we will erect a permanent memorial at Goodison later this year.
“Everton remembers. We always will……………