In the second of a two-part interview, Natasha Clark speaks to Guardian sports journalist and investigative reporter David Conn about the impact of Hillsborough on football in 2014…
“96 people died. 96 people came to Sheffield to see their team play, and actually died. We cannot forget that.”
Conn speaks sombrely and yet with sheer passion about what has now been publically revealed to be an extensive police cover up, supported by bogus media reporting, most notably from the Sun’s ‘THE TRUTH’ front page, four days after the event.
“What happened at Hillsborough never should have been allowed to happen,” he says quietly. What happened for the next 23 years should also never have been allowed to happen.”
He speaks about the “21 years of silence” following Hillsborough as equally appalling as the events of the 1989 match.
“I know they were under pressure. As a journalist, you can make mistakes… but not like that. There is a huge difference between the truth and smearing.” Continue reading
In the first of a two part interview, Natasha Clark speaks to Guardian sports journalist and investigative reporter David Conn about sports culture and his critical eye on the media’s take on football…
I am not a sports journalist. I don’t follow sport and I rarely watch it. But I knew David Conn would be a big deal. His work in the past year has investigated business controversy behind Tottenham’s new stadium project, Premier League finances, drugs-testing within football, the commercial interests of the FA, and Conn has continued to be one of the leading writers on Hillsborough.
In 2009, His piece remembering the atrocities of the semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest 20 years on, played a part in re-opening an investigation into the events of 1989, and quashing the initial verdict of ‘accidental death’. My sports knowledge may be limited, but I was far from disappointed; Conn speaks with sincerity, enthusiasm and a sheer passion for football and community.
Bearing in mind his reputation, and recent Sports Journalist of the Year award at the British Journalism Awards last month, I threw him in right at the deep end. Are sports journalists scared to criticise sport due to their closeness to the game? A sharp intake of breath follows. “Actually, I think that statement is both unfair and outdated.” Continue reading