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Stairway 13: The 1971 Ibrox Disaster Paperback – 1 May 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: The Bluecoat Press (1 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904438474
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904438472
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 0.8 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,232,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


The Ibrox disaster of 1971 still has the power to send shivers up and down footballing spines and not just in Scotland. Now the truth about the disaster that killed 66 people is finally on the record. Two of the game's best known researchers have unearthed the full story. In a new book about the disaster that followed a New Year Old Firm game, Paul Collier and Donald Taylor demolish the myth that crowds of supporters crashing into each other on Stairway 13 at the Rangers ground in Glasgow caused the tragic deaths. Until now, it was believed it was Rangers' last minute goal against Celtic which brought departing fans surging back up the stairs straight into the tide of others coming down Stairway 13 that caused the death of those 66 people. But it wasn't. The reality is that the stairway was too steep and too narrow. Stairway 13 just couldn't cope with the number of supporters pouring out. It just wasn't big enough. One man probably slipped. Others fell on top. The rest piled up behind. Most of the dead were found still standing in a row like un-collapsed dominoes. The force was so massive their lives had been literally squeezed out where they stood. They were totally helpless.

In writing "Stairway 13", co-authors Paul Collier and Donald Taylor went back over all the evidence in meticulous detail. They interviewed survivors, police officers, players, football officials, journalists and photographers and medical staff at the hospitals as well as poring over the evidence from the original enquiry. The new book contains the very last words of footballing legend George Best who wrote the foreword just before his death in 2005. He says he hopes the work will stand as "a fitting tribute to those Rangers supporters who lost their lives that day supporting their team."

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Although the subject matter might not appeal to many at first, this is a very well researched and sincerely written account of a dreadful disaster; one that maybe could have been avoided. To those of us south of the border this may not be a story that too many people are aware of but it is a story that deserves to be told. Evidently written with a great deal of care and with a passion to reveal the truth of what happened, I hope this fine book will ultimately be seen as a fitting tribute to those who sadly passed away on this tragic day. It includes several eyewitness accounts that will send a shudder down the spine of anyone who has been trapped amongst a crowd whilst leaving a football ground. Having said all this I found elements within the book to be quite uplifting - as the spirit of humanity is what this excellent book leaves us with.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent, well written book which is a must for any Scottish - indeed, British - football fan. Grippingly readable and packed with detail, it tells the storey of one of the darkest days in UK sporting history through the eyes of those who were there. Collier and Taylor have done a remarkable job tracking down those involved on that awful day and their testimony presents an broad, atmospheric and historically invaluable picture of the collapsing of the barrier and its aftermath. Plenty of urban myths about the Ibrox disaster have grown up over the past 35 years: this excellent book dispels them all, returning to a truth which is every bit as sobering and educative as any of the legends which have emerged since the accident happened.
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Format: Paperback
Nearly forty years have passed since the tragic events of January 2, 1971 but as the late great George Best notes in the introduction to this excellent book, the memories remain prominent in the minds of those old enough to remember the day. If you have ever got caught up in a crush at a sporting event or concert then you'll know just how easily things can go wrong, how the pressure of the crowd can become as one contributor to this book notes, `like a giant vice'. Fortunately on most occasions the pressure relents and tragedy is averted but on that day in Govan the consequences of such a crush were hideous.

Working on what was obviously a slim budget, Collier and Taylor still detail in a respectful way how the disaster was an accident waiting to happen, how previous serious incidents had occurred on the Stairway 13. The authors then go on to thoroughly debunk some of the myths that surround the disaster. They also do a fine job in detailing the aftermath of the 1971 tragedy and how it eventually paved the way for an impressive state-of-the-art ground. But the real strength of this book lies in the forensic way both authors have managed to track down so many people - players, fans, medical staff and emergency service personnel - who were there on that fateful day. The picture they paint is graphic, at times horrifying but always compelling reading. The haunting images may be painful to read but it's essential that people do read this book to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again.

Reading this book makes one realise just how things have changed in society over the past forty years, and not just in terms of crowd safety. Taylor and Collier relate how in the era before mobile phones, the news of the tragedy took some time to radiate out from the locus.
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