I wear two hats when I write this blog of mine. First and foremost, I manage a small charity in a small Scottish town called Dumfries. Ours is a front door that opens onto the darker corners of the crumbling world that is Britain 2015. We hand out 5000 emergency food parcels a year in a town that is home to 50,000 souls. Then, as you can see from all of the book covers above, I am also a thriller writer. If you enjoy the blog, you might just enjoy the books. The link below takes you to the whole library in the Kindle store. They can be had for a couple of quid each.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023



Dear Chief Constable Kennedy,

I am writing to you as a result of something I saw at the Liverpool v Arsenal match I attended on Sunday. This is my fiftieth year as an Anfield season ticket holder. Over the course of half a century I have attended well over a thousand games and never once have I witnessed what I witnessed on Sunday afternoon.

One of the games I attended was an FA Cup semi final where Liverpool played Nottingham Forest on 15 April 1989. I am a Hillsborough survivor. I am one of the lucky ones to emerge from the Leppings Lane End terrace in one piece.

On that afternoon, along with thousands of others, I witnessed the tragic results of the way the police treated football supporters at the time. We were deemed to be a threat, a problem, the 'enemy within'. Many claimed we were treated like cattle. This was not true. I was involved in the agricultural sector at the time and any farmer who treated their cows the way we were treated in the 1980's would have been prosecuted. A dairy farm with a cattle pen resembling the Leppings Lane Terrace would have very quickly found themselves in court.

I suffered the inept and brutal behaviour of the South Yorkshire police on that dreadful afternoon and I witnessed the fate of 97 of my fellow supporters who paid the price. I spoke out at the time and many years later I was subjected to a prolonged and very hostile cross examination by QC Beggs at the Coronor's Enquiry as he fought the corner of the South Yorkshire police who paid him £800 an hour for the privilege. Before attending court all witnesses were assured their questioning would be 'non confrontational'. As we say up here in Scotland , 'aye right'. Mr Beggs accused me of being a 'liar' and a 'fantasist' when I described how the police had behaved on the day.

Before kick off on Sunday, the ground fell to pin drop silence to remember the 97. It is always a tough moment for Hillsborough survivors. Unwelcome memories come flooding back. I very much doubt if many of us recall the way the South Yorkshire police behaved with any degree of fondness.

In this regard, multiple enquiries have proved us to be entirely justified.

All of which brings me to the reason for this letter. When I and my son left the ground and walked down Anfield Rd toward the Arkles pub, we were confronted by a sight I have never seen before at the football match in the UK. In full public view in front of a line of police vans, one of your officers stood facing a street full of exiting supporters clutching a very visibly brandished machine gun.


What possible threat could possibly demand the availability of such deadly force. There is no history of trouble between Liverpool and Arsenal fans, but this is barely relevant. In the unlikely event of fighting breaking out, what was your man going to do? Open fire?

I struggle to think of any situation which could have been resolved acceptably by a barrage of fire from an automatic weapon.

Instead, it seemed pretty clear your officer was posted so very visibly to send us all a message. We are a threat. We are a potential problem. Making such a show on any match day is questionable. Making such a show on the day Anfield fell silent in the memory of the 97 is inexcusable.

I look forward to your explanation of why such deadly force was required to oversee Liverpool and Arsenal supporters leaving Anfield after watching a football match.

Best regards,

Mark Frankland