A few last words on the Celtic visit to Nottingham back in November 1983 when the huge travelling Celtic support diced with death quite literally and were lucky to escape from the overcrowded pens at the City Ground without serious injuries or the loss of life. It was a warning for the operational folks who ran the English game at the time and of course the Police who opened the gates to allow thousands of extra fans to pile into the ground.
The same kind of situation that happened when Liverpool played Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup semi-final a few years later. The Celtic support got lucky but the Liverpool fans sadly did not.
“I was an 18 year old, and went down on the Airdrie St.Serfs bus, Willie Miller’s Luxury coach, which had ice inside the widows most of the way down. We left the Wayside Pub at 12 midnight, and arrived in Nottingham at 8.30am, much to the bemusement of the locals, as we burst into Celtic songs in celebration, of our arrival.
“I travelled on the James Stokes Celtic supporters bus to the game and was in the pen the crushing began. Fortunately I managed to scale the fence at the front onto the park. Fans were shouting abuse at us not realising the seriousness of the crushing taking place. When the game was halted David Hay, the Celtic manager came over and spoke with us, only then did he realise what was happening. Fans were screaming at the police to open the gates pitchside .It stands to this day as the most frightening thing to have happened to me at a match and something I will never forget.There but for the grace of God would have been an incident the same as happened later at Hillsborough. R.I.P the 96, Never forgotten” John Greening