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Hillsborough disaster: a revealing analysis of the language in witness statements

By Patricia Canning, Lecturer/Researcher, Forensic Stylistics, Linguistics, and Rhetoric, Utrecht University
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The Hillsborough disaster of April 15 1989 led to the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans. They were crushed on the terraces at the FA Cup semi-final as their team started play on the pitch. That afternoon the match commander, David Duckenfield, falsely reported to the FA that fans forced an egress gate – Gate C – and pushed through into the ground without tickets. This lie set the narrative that was later perpetuated in and by the tabloid…

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