Lee Dixon was playing for Arsenal on the day of the Hillsborough disaster. Here, he reflects on a few weeks which made a big imprint on him and thousands of others...
In 1989, I was 25-years-old. I was an experienced footballer but I was still a young man and the mixed emotions I experienced that spring left their mark. That year has become an important part of my life.
Like everybody else, I'm very pleased to see that the truth about what happened at Hillsborough on April 15 1989 is finally coming out. I was playing for Arsenal at Highbury that day. Our opponents were Newcastle, we won the match 1-0, but I had to check the records to remind myself. The reasons for that are obvious: the result did not matter. It was a very strange afternoon and, as news emerged about the extent of the tragedy, it became a horrendous period.
Football was in mourning but, as players, we had to concentrate on trying to win the league. We did so in a subdued manner. Games were postponed and when we returned to action we won two matches before losing to Derby and drawing against Wimbledon. That meant that Liverpool, who had managed to win five league games in a row, were now in the perfect position to win the league.
Our trip to Anfield on May 26 would be a title decider, the kind of match that the whole nation watches. We were under no illusions, most neutrals wanted Liverpool to win. I admit, professional as I always was, there was part of me that thought it would be ok if they did.
Anfield was somber and expectant. George Graham told us in the dressing room that we would hand out flowers before kick-off, going to every corner of the ground, but then our focus had to be on winning the match. Perhaps Kenny Dalglish said something similar to his players, but the point is that, in the end, you respect the emotions and the occasion by doing your job.
Everybody knows what happened next but I admit that I still occasionally put on the DVD of Fever Pitch to remind myself. The presentation of the trophy on the Anfield pitch was a surreal experience and celebrations passed in a blur. I will never forget that the Liverpool fans were magic, staying on to applaud. The Kop clapped us off the field and we clapped them. It was a night to remember.