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Football: Crowd Surges

Volume 703: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many (a) deaths, (b) injuries, and (c) other incidents caused by crowd surging, have occurred at football matches involving teams from the top two English divisions in each of the past 30 football seasons.[HL4795]

This information is not held centrally. However, the Football Licensing Authority (FLA), the body responsible for spectator safety at football grounds, has advised that it is aware of the following incidents at Football League grounds in England and Wales during the period concerned where deaths or significant numbers of injuries occurred and where crushing or crowd surging may have been a factor:

Year

Ground

Deaths

Injuries

1978

Leyton Orient

-

30

1980

Middlesbrough

2

Not recorded

1981

Hillsborough

-

38

1984

Walsall

-

20

1989

Hillsborough

96

400+

1989

Middlesbrough

-

19

The FLA is also aware of a number of incidents where smaller numbers of spectators and/or stewards have been injured in crowd surges since 1989 but does not hold detailed information on these.

The major improvements in the grounds and in crowd management over the past 15 years have largely eliminated crowd surges in seated areas, though they have occurred when spectators have spilled over into gangways or when players have gone to the crowd during a goal celebration.