Despite coordinating the work of 30 officers at the heart of the disaster, inspector Anthony Humphries was never called as a witness before. Now his statement gives evidence of what happened at Hillsborough.
New inquest into the Hillsborough disaster is revealing more shocking testimonies of those present. Anthony Humphries, inspector coordinating work of some 30 sergeants and constables that day, gave his first ever statement on what he saw on April 15, 1989.
Humphries confirmed many fans were aggressive towards police officers, but rather than hooliganism it was grief over what had just happened. He said: "They were very, very angry. At first I couldn't quite understand it... They were really, really angry, blaming us for being murderers and things like that and shouting and swearing. There was some spitting. But there were a lot of them shaking fists and shouting abuse. I suppose, having seen what they had seen…"
Asked whether anyone of his superiors gave him any instructions on what to do as the tragedy unveiled, he denied. In fact, according to inspector Humphries, there was no control of emergency efforts.
He went on: "The radio was basically everybody talking at once. There didn't seem to be anybody that was actually pulling it together. There were loads of people trying to get through, trying to talk… and basically where we went and where we pulled the people through, I accepted responsibility and took charge in there.
Perhaps the most striking image comes as the inspector goes onto what he saw and did as he entered one of the central pens at Leppings Lane end. The witness told the court how he saw a "pile of bodies" in the corner of one of the pens and tried to bring them out from the terrace.
"We were putting injured people on one side and people we thought were dead we put just on the other side," he said.
As the 2012 panel managed to establish, up to 41 people may have been saved if the emergency actions were coordinated. Humphries’s words confirm there was little thought or time for checking the state of injured fans or those perceived as dead.