David Duckenfield was the police’s match commander for the Liverpool and Nottingham Forest FA Cup clash has accepted that a failure to close one of the stadium’s tunnels led to the tragic death of 96 supporters.
Duckenfield was in charge of operating the policing in the ground on April 15, 1989 when 96 Liverpool supporters were crushed in the terraces shortly into the FA Cup semi-final tie.
During his testimony at the new inquests on Tuesday, Duckenfield was posed the question by Paul Greaney QC – acting on behalf of the Police Federation of England and Wales – whether his failure to close an entrance tunnel leading to the central pen of the Leppings Lane End was “the direct cause of the deaths of 96 persons in the Hillsborough tragedy”.
He replied: “Yes, sir.”
Last week he also revealed that his earlier account of the events were untrue, where he said that he failed to tell Football Association official Graham Kelly that he had ordered an exit gate to be opened.
As of late, the inquests into the events that unfolded 26 years ago are still ongoing.
By Phil Wellbrook