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Hillsborough jury: Gate forcing was lie

A SENIOR Sheffield ­Wednesday club official "unwittingly disseminated a lie" to BBC football commentator Alan Green that hundreds of Liverpool fans forced open a gate at the ­fateful 1989 FA Cup semi-final, a jury has heard.

The Radio 5 Live broadcaster, who was covering the match at Hillsborough for BBC Radio 2 at the time, went on air at about 4.30pm to give an update on the disaster, the inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool supporters was told.

He told listeners: "I spoke to the Sheffield Wednesday secretary Graham Mackrell just a few seconds ago. He has spoken directly to the policeman in charge here and he has been told that at 10 minutes to three there was a surge of Liverpool fans at the Leppings Lane end of the ground.

"That area holds about 10,000 people standing, 4500 in seats. The surge comprised of about 500 fans and the police say that a gate was forced and led to a crush in the terracing area. Well under capacity I am told at the time. There was still plenty of room in that area."

Giving evidence, Mr Mackrell said he did not recall speaking to Mr Green on April 15, 1989, but he did not question that he had.

He said he did not remember match commander Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield telling him a gate had been forced and could not recall where he had got that information.

The jury sitting in Warrington has heard that Mr Duckenfield gave the order for exit gate C to be opened at 2.52pm and that a "significant number" of an estimated 2000 fans entered through a tunnel at the Leppings Lane terrace towards the central pens where the fatal crushing took place.

The hearing continues.

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