The Papers of the Popplewell Inquiry into Crowd Safety at Sports Grounds.

Scope and Content

Submissions to the Inquiry. Notes of oral evidence to the Inquiry. Notes of visits by the Committee to Edinburgh and Brussels. Report and witness statements from the Bradford City Inquiry. County Surveyor's report and police photographs from the wall collapse at Birmingham City. Documents concerning Heysel stadium disaster. Reports and articles on football hooliganism. Interim Report with drafts, press notices and photocopies of press cuttings. Drafts of Final Report.

Administrative / Biographical History

Following the fire in 1985 at Valley Parade, Bradford City football stadium, an Inquiry chaired by Sir Oliver Popplewell was held under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975. In the light of this inquiry, and of the earlier disaster at Birmingham City football stadium, a Committee of Inquiry into Crowd Safety at Sports Grounds was set up. Sir Oliver Popplewell was selected to chair this committee. Submissions and evidence were gathered from interested parties, including the Fire Brigade, police, sociologists, football clubs and other sports associations. The Committee's Interim Report was published in July 1985 (Command Paper Cmnd 9585). Further evidence was received, including reports from the tragedy at Brussels' Heysel stadium and the Final Report was published in 1986 (Command paper Cmnd 9710).


The arrangement into series 1-10 and order within those series is the system of arrangement as received from the donor. For circulation to the Committee of Inquiry, most papers were allocated a unique "SPG" number. These have been noted where present (see list in 9/1).

Access Information

Available to researchers, by appointment. Access to archive material is subject to preservation requirements and must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation. There are currently no restrictions on access for preservation reasons. Under current legislation there are no legal restrictions on access to this collection.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Sir Oliver Popplewell in 1999.

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished interim catalogue.

Archivist's Note

Original collection description by John Brooker, using ISAD(G) 2, June 2001; description of archive content by Eleanor Laviers with assistance from John Brooker, November 2004. Minor revisions by Alison Cullingford, May 2013.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be supplied or produced at the discretion of Special Collections staff, subject to copyright law and the condition of the originals. Applications for permission to make published use of any material should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian in the first instance. Copyright in materials in this collection is either held by the Crown or the original creators. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.