Grantham-born author writes novel around Hillsborough tragedy

Fan, a novel by Grantham-born writer Danny Rhodes.
Fan, a novel by Grantham-born writer Danny Rhodes.
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Grantham-born author Danny Rhodes has written a book which took him back to that horrific day when more than 90 football fans were killed at Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield in 1989.

Danny was there as a teenage Nottingham Forest fan to see the FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool. But instead of a football match he witnessed the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans crushed on the terraces.

Danny, who now lives and works as a teacher in Kent, has written his third book called Fan, which tells the story of a Forest supporter and how the Hillsborough tragedy comes back to haunt him 15 years later.

The book is semi-autobiographical and, while Grantham is not specifically named, Danny admits any Granthamiams reading it will recognise their town.

Danny, 42, who attended Isaac Newton School and King’s, said: “I stored away those memories in a compartment and didn’t face up to them until about four years ago. I think when you are approaching 40 you start looking back on your life and I was writing by then. That opened up the compartment and the last three years writing this book have been a rollercoaster, not just because of Hillsborough but because I have gone to watch matches with old friends and watched old Forest matches on Youtube.”

Danny, who is married with two children, was a postal worker in Grantham. He also studied at Grantham College before going on to the University of Kent in 1994.

His parents still live in Grantham.

Fan will be published on April 15, the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy.

Did you attend the Hillsborough game that day? Email your story to Graham Newton at the address above.