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Hillsborough: The Truth by Phil Scraton

At the original 1991 inquests into the Hillsborough disaster, the verdict delivered by the coroner was accidental death. In response, Scraton wrote Hillsborough: The Truth, a categoric dismantling of the verdict and all associated narratives of victim blaming that have pervaded ever since and the book is widely considered to be the definitive work on the disaster.

A history of football in the UK cannot be completed without an understanding of the disaster. Hillsborough, along with the disasters at Ibrox and Valley Parade, exhibited the appalling way in which fans were treated by both the police and authorities (over-zealous policing, all fans profiled as criminals) as well as the clubs themselves, who owned and maintained (in the loosest possible sense) the crumbling, decaying stadiums which caused and exacerbated these disasters.

This is a hard read in places, and there were numerous times in which I had to close the book to comprehend what I had just read, or compose myself in order to continue, but this is utterly essential book, one that will stay with me for the rest of my life.