Hillsborough disaster: the 97 people whose lives were cut short | Hillsborough disaster


Jon-Paul Gilhooley, 10

10

“Very loving and affectionate”

Jon-Paul was only 10 years old, the youngest of the 96 people to die at Hillsborough. His uncle, Brian Gilhooley, came by a ticket for his nephew only on the morning of the semi-final, and picked Jon-Paul up from swimming to take him to Hillsborough. Named after Pope John Paul II, Jon-Paul was the first cousin of Steven Gerrard, who grew up to be the Liverpool and England captain.
His mother, Jackie Gilhooley, described Jon-Paul in her personal statement at the inquests as “very loving and affectionate”, whose older brother Ronnie, she said, never recovered from his death.
She said she instinctively knew Jon-Paul had died by 3.30pm that day, but always considers how lucky she was to have him.
“I have no regrets at all,” she said. “I would go back and I’d take those 10 years any time.”

Read David Conn’s reports of the inquest here and here.

Philip Hammond, 14

14

A “child of the 80s … sensible, caring”

Philip lived at home in Aigburth, Liverpool, with his parents Philip Sr and Hilda, and Graeme, his younger brother by two years. Philip Hammond Sr was the chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group from 1999 to 2008, when he had a brain haemorrhage after banging his head while working in the group’s office.
Hilda Hammond described her 14-year-old son as a “child of the 80s … sensible, caring” and less “mature and worldly wise” than teenagers now. He loved football and was passionate about playing golf, she said.
In 2013, Calderstones School, which Philip attended, named its sports hall after him, in recognition of his life and sporting achievement.
Hilda read out his epitaph in her personal statement to the inquests: “Our lovely son Philip, whose life, hopes and dreams were so needlessly taken from him.”

Read David Conn’s report from the inquest here.

Thomas Howard Jr, 14

14

Popular, blossoming and enjoying life

Tommy Howard Jr went to the semi-final at Hillsborough with his father, Thomas Sr, and they both died, in “pen” three.
His mother, Linda, remembered Tommy Jr as “just a normal schoolboy”, who was popular, blossoming and enjoying life. She recalled that for an inexplicable reason she had felt that her heart would break when they left, if Tommy Jr did not turn round to give her a final wave, then he did.
Alan Howard, Tommy’s brother, told the inquests: “To be sat down [with their sister, Gail] and told by our mother one spring morning that our father and brother had gone to heaven, when we were just 11 and eight years of age, is something we found exceedingly difficult to come to terms with, and still do, to this day.” Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Paul Murray, 14

14

His family discovered only after he died that he used to help their elderly neighbour with her shopping

Paul Murray lived with his family in Stoke-on-Trent. He was described by his mother, Edna, as a popular and kind boy; they discovered only after he died that he used to help their elderly neighbour with her shopping, and describe her garden plants and flowers to her, because she was almost blind.
Paul went to Hillsborough with his father, Tony, who lost contact with his son in the “pen” three crush, suffered injuries himself and was taken to hospital.
Both Paul’s former schools now give out special awards in his honour. The family agreed to present them, as long as they were for the student who had been “most helpful, reliable, always smiling and a pleasure to have in school, someone such as Paul himself”.

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Lee Nicol, 14

14

“Lee’s generosity spread far and wide beyond just his family and friends”

Lee Nicol was maintained on life support in hospital for two days after the crush, before he was confirmed with irreversible brain damage and certified dead on 17 April 1989. Lee had been intent on carrying an organ donor card, and after he died his mother, Patricia, said she received a letter of thanks from a young boy’s grandmother, because Lee’s donated liver had allowed the boy to walk for the first time and join the school football team. Two women received Lee’s kidneys, and a man living outside the UK was given Lee’s aortic valves. “Lee’s generosity spread far and wide beyond just his family and friends,” his mother said. “I am so very proud.” Of his life, Patricia remembered spending a lot of time with Lee, because her other son, Andrew, and daughter, Joanne, were older and had moved out to their own homes.

Lee, she said, was a fun-loving boy who was also a hard worker, loved learning, music – particularly Bon Jovi – played football and supported Liverpool, his “overriding passion”.

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Adam Spearritt, 14

14

“I could write a book about what Adam meant to us”

Adam Spearritt’s mother, Janet, told the inquests: “I could write a book about what Adam meant to us and the heartache his death and the Hillsborough tragedy caused.” Accompanied by her younger sons Paul and Daniel, she also remembered her husband Eddie, who became a steadfast Hillsborough campaigner for justice, but died in 2011. Adam went to the semi-final with Eddie, who lost consciousness himself and woke up in intensive care.

“Adam and Eddie were friends as well as father and son,” Janet said. “Eddie struggled to forgive himself for not saving Adam … Sadly Eddie died without really knowing that his efforts in helping to fight for a new inquest were coming to fruition.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Peter Harrison, 15

15

“The best sense of humour”

Peter Harrison’s mother, Patricia, told the inquests she was not married when she had him, and they were very close, like friends, as he grew up.
When Peter was seven, she met John, whom she married, and she had two more sons, Stephen and Peter. She said John and Peter immediately got on well, they grew to “really love each other”, and John formally adopted him as his child.

Patricia Harrison described Peter as “lovely” with “the best sense of humour”, and said that the family “loved and worshipped him”.
The Christmas before he died, she and John bought Peter a season ticket to watch Liverpool. “We buried it with him,” she said.

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Victoria Hicks, 15

15

A teenager with great strength of character and determination

Victoria Hicks, known as Vicki, died in the crush on “pen” three at the semi-final, alongside her sister, Sarah, 19, who was studying at Liverpool University.
Her parents Trevor and Jenni Hicks described Vicki as a teenager with great strength of character and determination, who had done well in her mock O levels at Haberdashers’ Aske’s school in Elstree, but died before she could take the exams proper.
Jenni Hicks described her daughters as “bright, beautiful, innocent young women”.
Trevor said: “The loss of a child is one of the worst things that can happen to a loving parent. Loss of all your children is devastating. It is not that two is twice as bad. It’s that you lose everything. The present, the future and any purpose.”

Read David Conn’s reports of the inquest here, here and here.

Philip Steele, 15

15

His smile could “light up the world”

Philip Steele’s mother, Dolores, described a boy with a smile that could “light up the world”, in a loving family who did many things together. She and her husband, Les, were also at Hillsborough, in the seats, while Philip and their younger son, Brian, wanted to stand, and found themselves in “pen” three. She said that after Les was interviewed by South Yorkshire police officers following his identification of Philip, he had told her they were going to blame supporters.
Dolores Steele said her husband, who died in 2001: “Could not come to terms with the fact that we were at Hillsborough and that he was unable to save his son. It was all too much for him.”

Read David Conn’s reports of the inquest here, here and here.

Kevin Tyrrell, 15

15

A talented footballer, who was playing for the under-15 team of his local professional club

Kevin Tyrrell, from Runcorn, was a talented footballer, who was playing for the under-15 team of his local professional club, Tranmere Rovers.
He had been going to support Liverpool at Anfield since he was 13, and in 1988 his parents bought him a season ticket, which his father, Frank, said pleased Kevin so much: “It was as if we had just given him the crown jewels.” The 1989 FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough was the first away match Kevin attended.

Recalling the moment when he had to identify Kevin’s body in the Hillsborough gymnasium, Frank Tyrrell said: “I went to touch my son. I was told that I couldn’t, as he now belonged to the coroner. He didn’t. He belonged to me and my wife and he was Gary and Donna’s brother.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Kevin Daniel Williams, 15

15

“A devoted son and loving brother”

Kevin Williams’s mother, Anne, became a greatly admired campaigner for the first Hillsborough inquest to be quashed, particularly objecting to the “cut-off” for evidence of 3:15pm. Anne saw the inquest finally quashed, in December 2012, but died from cancer in April 2013, before she could see the new inquests start. Medical witnesses at the inquests said the evidence was “plausible” that Kevin had a pulse at 3:32pm, having had no expert emergency help before that.
Kevin’s younger sister, Sara, read the personal statement about him to the court, describing Kevin as a devoted son and loving brother to her and their older brother, Michael. “My mum fought hard over the years to get the truth uncovered about what happened at Hillsborough,” Sara said. “It is only now that I have children of my own that I understand the relentless determination that came so naturally to her because of the love that she had for Kevin.”

Read David Conn’s reports of the inquest here, here and here.

Kester Ball, 16

16

A talented middle-distance runner who achieved well academically

Kester Ball and his family lived in St Albans where his father, Roger, was a bank manager, and they kept on their season tickets to watch Liverpool, where they were from.
Kester was remembered as an outstanding student at the Parmiter’s school in Hertfordshire, taking four A levels, having passed nine O levels, and with many interests outside school.
Roger took Kester to the semi-final at Hillsborough, with Kester’s two best friends. The other boys survived, as did Roger, who was carried out of “pen” three unconscious. Kester’s mother, Brenda, recalled a school project Kester completed when he was 11, which had a chapter, “Future Hopes”, full of his plans to grow up, work in banking and have children. “Kester never achieved his future hopes,” his mother told the court.
Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Nicholas Michael Hewitt, 16

16

Good memories of him and his brother Carl: “too many to list”

Nick Hewitt, from Oadby, Leicestershire, died with his older brother, Carl, at Hillsborough – one of three pairs of brothers who died in the disaster. Their mother, Brenda, described a happy family life, with good memories of the boys “too many to list”. They loved football, both had Liverpool season tickets, she said, and they went to Hillsborough on a supporters bus. Nick was still at school, and was interested in becoming an electrical engineer, Brenda said.

“The supporters’ bus left the stadium with those on board who were able to exit the ground,” she said. “They left the ground with two young boys missing.” In her statement, Brenda wrote that her mother had said of the boys’ death: “Always together. Together always.”
Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Martin Kevin Traynor, 16

16

“Kevin can never be replaced”

Martin Kevin Traynor, known as Kevin, had been in the Leppings Lane end at Hillsborough for the FA Cup semi-final the previous year, 1988. His family recalled that when he heard the 1989 semi-final was to be at Hillsborough as well, he immediately said: “Oh, no, not that stadium again.” Kevin was the youngest of five children born to his father James, and mother, Joan, who was a founding member of the Hillsborough Family Support Group. Kevin went to the semi-final in 1989 with his brother, Christopher, and their friend David Thomas, both of whom also died in the crush.
“Their absence is felt by the entire family,” Kevin’s sister, Theresa Arrowsmith, said of her brothers. “Kevin can never be replaced. At 16, he went too soon.” Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Simon Bell, 17

17

A “happy-go-lucky” boy

Simon Bell was a noted young cricketer, who had represented Lancashire schoolboys at the game. He went to Merchant Taylors’, the public school in Crosby, where his father, Christopher, said his son, a “happy go lucky” boy, was more interested in sport than schoolwork. Simon had left school at 16 and gone to work in Sefton Council’s finance department, where his father said he was highly regarded.
“As his family, we all have special memories of Simon, but they are too numerous to condense into just a few sentences,” Christopher said in a statement read by Simon’s sister, Fiona, with her other brother, Duncan beside her. “He was loved and he is missed.”
Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Carl Hewitt, 17

17

He was due to receive the ‘best in class’ award at college

Carl, from Oadby, Leicestershire, was the older brother of Nicholas Hewitt, and both brothers died together in the crush. Their mother, Brenda, told the inquests that Carl had left school and was at college training to be a cabinetmaker, where he was due to receive the “best in class” award.

She said her sons and family were close, that Carl was “very caring towards Nick and would stick up for him at all times”. Carl had just passed his driving test before going to the semi-final, and Brenda Hewitt said he would drive his brother and cousins ice skating. The inquests heard expert evidence that after Carl had been brought out of the “pen”, and when he was on the Hillsborough pitch at 3:30pm, “appropriate medical intervention could have been capable of saving his life”.

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Keith McGrath, 17

17

“I was so proud of him and always will be”

Keith McGrath’s mother Mary Corrigan, accompanied by his sister Ann Marie and brothers Darren and Mark, made a deeply emotional statement to the court about the powerful love she felt for Keith, her first born.
She said Keith had grown up into an ambitious teenager; he was working as an apprentice painter and decorator, and studying for his City and Guilds.

For his 17th birthday, he had asked for a Liverpool season ticket. “All these years I have been saying, if we had not got him that ticket, he would be home safe today,” Mary said. “I know of course that is not true, but it is there in the back of my mind.” When he died, “a part of me also died”, she said. “I was so proud of him and always will be. He was the shining star of my life.”
Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Stephen O’Neill, 17

17

“A great lad, always smiling, happy, carefree, considerate and kind”

Stephen O’Neill went to Hillsborough with his father, Kevin, uncle David Hawley, his cousin, Paul Owens, and David Cambers, a family friend. David Hawley, 39, a father of three children, also died in the crush.
Stephen’s mother, Patricia O’Neill, recalled Stephen as “a great lad, always smiling, happy, carefree, considerate and kind”. He was studying for maths and physics O Levels and planned to go to university to take a degree in electrical engineering, Patricia said. She remembered the casual way she saw the group off in the car: “Five left the house that day and only three returned,” she wrote. “What a waste of a lovely life.”
Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Steven Robinson, 17

17

“Very handsome and funny”

Steven Robinson was the middle child of five born to his parents, Rose and Bernard Robinson. He had left school in Crosby with eight O Levels and was working for North West buses as an apprentice auto-electrician, while studying for his City and Guild certificate. His ambition, his parents said, was to be a policeman.

His family remembered him as “very handsome and funny”, and his brother, Paul, said: “He dressed immaculately, never had a hair out of place, and was certainly no stranger to the mirror.” He was a huge music fan, they said, and the Human League song, Together in Electric Dreams, was special to him and his girlfriend, Claire. It was played at his funeral, the family remembered.
Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Henry Rogers, 17

17

A talented sportsman, active in the boy scouts, a charmer, an “affable soul”

Henry Rogers went to Hillsborough, with his older brother, Adam, who tragically also died shortly after Hillsborough. “Sadly, the trauma of surviving Hillsborough, the loss of his younger brother and his child-onset diabetes together resulted in his lonely death,” Veronica told the inquests in her personal statement. Henry, she said, was studying for A levels in maths, chemistry and economics, and planning to apply for an economics degree at the London School of Economics, when he died. She described him as a talented sportsman, active in the boy scouts, a charmer, an “affable soul”, who was close to Adam and loyal and loving to his sister Alex, eight years his junior. “Secret admirers came to his funeral, leaving truly loving messages at the grave,” Veronica said.
Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Stuart Thompson, 17

17

“Determined to be a success in life”

Stuart Thompson’s father, Michael, wrote a loving tribute to his son in August 2013, but died himself before he was able to read it out at the inquests. He recalled enjoyable days out with his son, how happy and sporty he was, and how shocked Michael was when he was brought home from work and told that Stuart had died at the football match.

Stuart went to the match with his brother Martin, older by two years, who also read out a statement about him. “He was my brother, and he was my friend,” Martin said. He described a close, fun-loving, conscientious brother, who was working as an apprentice joiner, determined to be a success in life. “Stuart left school the year before, and he was moving on to the next stage of his life. He was no longer a child, but he wasn’t yet an adult. He didn’t have time to blossom. He was dearly loved by all his family and all his friends.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Graham Wright, 17

17

An expert in karate, with a passion for sketching and photography

Graham Wright was the youngest of four children born to his mother, Beryl, who died in 2005, and his father, George.
His brother Stephen, who was three years older and who was also at Hillsborough, said they were close: “one pair, together all the time”. He recalled happy days playing football, Graham’s expertise in contact karate, and his passion for sketching and photography. When he died, he was working for Swintons insurance in Prescot.
He was a practicising Catholic, an altar boy at St Aidan’s Catholic church in Liverpool, alongside his friend James Aspinall, who was also killed at Hillsborough.
Stephen said Graham had a loving girlfriend, Janet. “They were inseparable and very happy … She still puts flowers on his grave to this day.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

James Aspinall, 18

18

“Selfless and kind”

James Aspinall was the oldest of five children born to his parents Jimmy Sr and Margaret, the current chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group.
He had been a Liverpool supporter from 2 September 1978 when, aged seven, his father took him to his first match at Anfield, and Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur 7-0. James went to the semi-final at Hillsborough with his friend, Graham Wright, who also died.
Having left school at 16, James was working as a shipping clerk for a local company, Lamport and Holt. The Aspinall family remembered James as “selfless”, and kind. Jimmy Sr was at Hillsborough, in a side “pen”, and has never been to a football match since.
Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Carl Brown, 18

18

“Carl loved his family as much as we loved him”

Carl Brown, from Leigh, Lancashire, had a provisional place to take a degree at Manchester University, when he went to the semi-final at Hillsborough. He was at Leigh Sixth Form College doing business studies and computer science, which had been an interest since he was a young boy, his mother, Delia Brown, said.
“Carl loved his family as much as we loved him,” his mother said. “We only had 18 years and three weeks with him, and he never caused us any problems. We were always there for each other. He only had a short life, but it was a very fulfilled and happy one, and we were very proud of him.”
Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Paul Clark, 18

18

“Good-natured, fun-loving and caring”

Paul Clark, from Swanwick, Derbyshire, was described by his father, Ken, as “an achiever”. He was 18 a month before the semi-final, was working as an apprentice electrician, and had passed the first part of his City and Guild qualification.
Ken recalled his son as “a lovely young man who was good-natured, fun-loving and caring”. He recalled Christmas when Paul was 13, the family surprised him by buying him a gold BMX bike he had asked for. “The smile never left his face,” Kenneth said. “We still have the bike at home; we never felt able to let it go.”
Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Christopher Devonside, 18

18

Gifted and good-humoured

Christopher Devonside was an A-level student at Hugh Baird College in Formby, who was planning to go to university and hoping to become a journalist. He was in a group of 10 good friends, of whom two others, Simon Bell and Gary Church, also died at Hillsborough. In a statement written by his mother, Jacqueline, and read by his father, Barry, he was described as interested in current affairs, graffiti art, and the wider social and political issues of football including the “unacceptably poor” condition of grounds.
“His life was ended abruptly, prematurely and unnecessarily because of the failures of others,” Jacqueline said, “preventing Chris from fulfilling his dreams of travel and university.”
Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Gary Jones, 18

18

“An extremely clever young man, very well liked”

Gary Jones was the youngest of four children born to his parents, Maureen and Philip. His family were all in the witness box as his sister, Julie Flanagan, read the statement about him, describing Gary as “not only a brother, but a friend”. Like many of the teenagers who died at Hillsborough, the semi-final was the first away match Gary Jones had attended. He was at Hugh Baird College in Liverpool, hoping to pursue a career in electronics.
His sister said: “Gary was a very bright and extremely clever young man, very well liked and loved by all who knew him. He would have succeeded in life at everything he did.”
Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Carl Lewis, 18

18

A hard-working young man who had many friends

Carl Lewis had an 11-month-old daughter, Chantelle, with his girlfriend, Paula, when he died at Hillsborough. Twenty-five years later, Chantelle read the statement about Carl written by his mother, Margaret.
She described a hard-working young man, who had enjoyed school and had many friends. The family was not well off, she said, and her husband, Michael, could not afford to go and watch Liverpool play, but used to ensure Carl and his two brothers, Michael Jr and David, had the money to do so. Carl was with his brothers at Hillsborough, and his friend Paul Carlile, who also died.
Margaret Lewis said that when Carl died, “the grief tore my family apart”, and that Michael Sr, who died in 2010, never recovered from their loss.

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

John McBrien, 18

18

“Charismatic and remarkably mature”

John McBrien was doing A-levels in maths, politics and economics and had accepted an unconditional place to study social economic history at Liverpool University starting in the autumn of 1989. His mother, Joan Hope, accompanied by his brothers, Alan and Andrew, remembered John as a “handsome, kind, generous, charismatic and remarkably mature young man”, who was a keen sportsman and actor. His father, Roy, died in 2002.
Joan Hope said: “John’s death wrecked all of our lives. We struggled to come to terms with what had happened. Even today, the pain of losing John has not gone away. John was so very special to all of us. His death was completely devastating to our family.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Jonathon Owens, 18

18

“Totally laid-back, carefree”

Jonathon Owens went to the semi-final with Peter Burkett, one of his close group of friends at work at Royal Life Insurance in Liverpool. Peter Burkett also died in the disaster. Jonathon’s mother, Patricia, with his father, John, alongside her, read a loving tribute to her son, describing a keen sportsman and music fan, “totally laid-back, carefree”. Jonathon left school at 16, and at the time of his death, was studying A-level history at night school, and planning to do two more A-levels. Shortly before the semi-finial, he had applied to be a junior reporter on the Warrington Post.
Patricia said: “He was the love of our life. We have missed him so much since his death and we will always, always remember him and love him with all our hearts.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Colin Ashcroft, 19

19

“He had a great future ahead of him”

Colin Ashcroft had health problems from birth, his mother, Janet Russell, told the inquests, and he attended special schools for children with learning difficulties. She said Colin, who had an older sister, Michelle, and younger brother, Gary, was working after leaving school on a government scheme helping gardeners, and had become a loyal Liverpool supporter. Before the 1989 semi final, she researched travel arrangements with Colin, to make sure he would be safe.

Janet Russell said of her son: “He was a well-liked, mostly cheerful, well-rounded young man who overcame his difficulties to be as independent as he was able. He was becoming throughtful about other people and much more level-headed and had a great future ahead of him. He is greatly missed by his family.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Paul Carlile, 19

19

He was due to start a new job on the Monday after the match

Paul Carlile had completed his apprenticeship as a plasterer on 14 April 1989, the day before the semi-final, and was due to start a new job on the Monday after the match. His mother, Sandra Stringer, said they had a double funeral, with his friend, Carl Lewis, who also died at the match. The street on which he had lived some of the time with his grandmother was renamed Carlile Way, she said. In the statement, read by Paul’s sister, Donna Miller, his mother wrote:
“Paul was brought up to be a law-abiding citizen. He was not a hooligan and he was not a drunkard … He did nothing wrong that day. He went to watch the team he loved and came home to me in a coffin.”

Read David Conn’s report from the inquest here.

Gary Church, 19

19

“Always happy and smiling and had a special twinkle in his eye”

Gary Church, from Seaforth in Liverpool, had a full-time job as a joiner; his sister, Karen Staniford, said he was very grateful to have work at a time of high unemployment. She described him as a loving son, brother and uncle to his nieces and nephews. The week before the semi-final, he had taken his sister’s six-year-old twins, Claire and Christopher, to McDonald’s for their birthday, then to see the film Who Killed Roger Rabbitt?. “Gary was one in a million,” Karen said. “He was always happy and smiling and had a special twinkle in his eye. He loved to make people laugh and loved to play the joker … It is hard to put into words just how much Gary is loved and missed every day.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

James Delaney, 19

19

“A fantastic older brother”

James Delaney’s younger brother by 10 years, Nick, told the inquests that he was only nine when James died, but he remembered “a fantastic older brother” who always had time for him and would carry him around on his shoulders. James Delaney was born with a club foot, Nick Delaney said, had several operations and fought his way into school football and basketball teams. A trained mechanic, James was working as a production operator at Vauxhall’s car factory in Ellesmere Port when he was killed at Hillsborough. His parents were devastated, Nick Delaney said; his mother died in 2003, his father in 2007.
“Everything changed in a day,” Nick Delaney said. “Hillsborough took my innocence, childhood, my brother, my family.”

Read David Conn’s reports from the inquest here and here.

Sarah Louise Hicks, 19

19

“In modern parlance, she was cool”

Sarah Hicks was studying for a chemistry degree at Liverpool University when she died at Hillsborough alongside her younger sister, Vicki. Her father, Trevor, said “in modern parlance, she was cool”, and that Sarah had turned down a scholarship at Imperial College, London, and a place at Oxford, to go to Liverpool. With his then wife Jenni, the family used to support Liverpool and go to matches together, including the 1989 semi-final, where Trevor was involved in desperate efforts on the pitch to save the girls. Jenni Hicks said of her daughters: “You were two bright, beautiful, innocent young women. I left you as you went into a football ground and a few hours later you were dead.”

Read David Conn’s reports from the inquest here, here, here and here.

David Mather, 19

19

“We relied on him a lot”

David Mather’s younger brother, John, remembered that when their parents divorced in 1988, David became the “man of the house”, giving their mother most of his earnings from his job at the Post Office, and driving her around. “We relied on him a lot and he never begrudged us,” John told the inquest. At the time he died, David had applied to become a police officer, and was waiting to be called for his medical.

John described David as a “typical joker” but also as an older brother who was always there for him, and who used to take him to Liverpool matches. His ashes are in the corner of the Kop at Anfield. “Losing David greatly affected us and life has never been the same since,” John said. “We miss him every day, and wish on that fateful day that he had never left the house.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Colin Wafer, 19

19

“A well-groomed young man who was a pleasure to know”

Colin Wafer was described by his father, Jim, as “a lively lad and ambitious lad”. He got a job with the TSB after completing his A-levels, took banking exams at evening school, and had just secured a promotion when he died. In a statement read by Colin’s younger sister, Lisa Davies, Jim Wafer remembered happy family times, and a son for whom the semi-final was his first Liverpool away match.

“I am not sure what Colin would have gone on to be,” his father said. “I remember him as a calm, confident, lively, sensible, intelligent, hard-working grafter. He was a well-groomed young man who was a pleasure to know and be around.”

Read David Conn’s reports from the inquest here and here.

Ian Whelan, 19

19

He used to draw caricatures of Liverpool players and send them to the club

Ian Whelan, from Warrington, worked in the purchasing department at British Nuclear Fuels, in the town. He met his girlfriend, Joanne, at work.

His father, Wilf Whelan, described Ian as a son “any family would have been proud of”. He loved football, music and art, and used to draw caricatures of Liverpool players and send them to the club; the players used to sign them and send them back to him.

On the morning of the semi-final, Ian stopped off at Joanne’s house, where he left two red roses on her doorstep. “He wasn’t a football hooligan,” Wilf Whelan told the inquests. “He even attended mass of his own free will, every Sunday without fail. My family feel that they have had to defend his good name for the last 25 years.”
Read David Conn’s report from the inquest here.

Stephen Paul Copoc, 20

20

“One of life’s genuine nice guys”

Stephen Copoc was the youngest of four children born to his parents, Agnes and Harold Copoc. At the time he died, he was engaged to be married to his fiancée, Jackie, whom he had met when he was 15.

Reading a loving tribute to him at the inquests, Stephen’s niece, Natalie, described Stephen as “one of life’s genuine nice guys”.

He was passionate about nature, had always been interested in birds and in fishing, and after he left school Stephen studied for a City and Guild certificate in botany and horticulture. He was successful in applying for a job with Liverpool city council’s parks and gardens department, and was working at Sudley Hall in Mossley Hill, a job Natalie said he treasured.

“The whole family travelled around to watch [Liverpool] matches,” she said, “but not since 1989. After 1989, we gave the season tickets back and we never went to a football match again.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here and here.

Ian Glover, 20

20

“Really into music” and “designer mad”

Ian Glover was one of six children born to his parents, Teresa and John, a family Ian’s sister, Lorraine, described as “like the Waltons”.
Lorraine said Ian was a mature young man, “really into music” and “designer mad”, who at the time he died was engaged to Nicky, his first serious girlfriend. Ian went to Hillsborough with his brother, Joe, who escaped the pen but then saw Ian crushed against the fence, and was badly traumatised by having been unable to help him.
Joe died 10 years later in a crushing accident at work. Their father, John Glover, was a founding member of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, who died of cancer in 2013.

Read David Conn’s report from the inquest here.

Gordon Horn, 20

20

“He had so much life left to live”

Gordon Horn “didn’t have the easiest start in life”, his sister, Denise Hough, told the inquests: he was one of four children removed from their mother and placed in local authority care, when he was only seven. Denise said she used to visit him in the West Derby children’s home as often as she could, and when he was 14, she and her husband, Rob, fostered him.

Gordon was described by his sister as a “real character” who “truly blossomed amd came out of his shell” when he came to live with them. He enjoyed playing the flute, and played for the Beaconsfield flute band before joining a Liverpool marching band.
He had done various jobs since leaving school at 16, including a government scheme draught-proofing properties, although he was unemployed when he died. “He had so much life left to live,” Denise said. “We all miss him so much.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Paul Brady, 21

21

“Very bubbly and outgoing”

Paul Brady’s mother, Marian, described her son as “very bubbly and outgoing”, very popular with his mates and with lots of friends, male and female.

He left school at 16 with six GCSEs, she said, and took an apprenticeship as a refrigeration engineer, a job she said he loved and in which he progressed very well.

He was an “avid” Liverpool supporter, Marian said, and used to go to home and away matches with his older brother, Michael. “I have so, so many special memories of Paul it would be hard for me to pick out just one,” she said. “He was fun loving, the joker in our family, always smiling and such a joy to be around. And it goes without saying that we all miss him to this day.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Steven Fox, 21

21

“Sociable, caring, funny, smart and sensitive”

Steve Fox’s mother, Brenda, said of her son, the eldest of three children born to her and husband Desi: “I fondly remember Steve as a little sod when he was young.” At the time he died, he was working at a Cadbury’s chocolate factory, where as a 21st birthday prank, fellow workers threw him in a vat of unused chocolate – his mother still has the picture of him covered in chocolate.

She described Steve as “sociable, caring, funny, smart and sensitive, well known and well liked”. He was a registered first-aider at work and, after an accident, carried an organ donor card. Sadly, Brenda said, he was not taken to hospital from Hillsborough, so nobody benefited from his organs.
“A great boy died on April 15 1989,” his mother said. “He is still greatly missed by all who knew him.”

Read David Conn’s report from the inquest here.

Marian McCabe, 21

21

“Such a good and generous person that no words will ever do her justice”

Marian McCabe lived in London and was a member of the London branch of the Liverpool supporters club. She was a friend of Inger Shah, who also died in the disaster, and they used to meet up with other friends at matches. One, Stephen Oates, told the inquests they were “the best friends you could wish to have”.

Marian’s mother, Christine McEvoy, described her to the inquests as “a giver, not a taker”, a kind older sister to her brother, Peter, an active member of various clubs. At the time she died, she was working on the production line for a cosmetics company.

“I wish that I’d had a chance to treat my daughter more,” Christine said. “She was such a good and generous person that no words will ever do her justice.”

Read David Conn’s reports here and here.

Joseph McCarthy, 21

21

“Joe was one of life’s good guys”

Joe McCarthy, from Ealing, west London, was doing a business studies degree at Sheffield University. His cousin, Anthony Goggins, who came from Ireland to live with Joe and his parents, Anne and Sean, and older brother, Jeremy, remembered a young man who excelled academically and at sport, “genuinely a lovely human being”. He was a former captain of the first XI football team at the Cardinal Vaughan Catholic secondary school in London, and chairman of the debating and economics and business societies. He had a serious girlfriend, Penny.

“Joe was one of life’s good guys,” Anthony Goggins said. “He was genuinely a lovely human being, full of joy with a zest for life. We all miss him.”

Read David Conn’s report on the inquest here.

Peter McDonnell, 21

21

“He made a mark on people wherever he went”

Peter McDonnell was the youngest of four children born to his parents, Gerard and Lillian McDonnell, known always as the baby of the family, his sister, Evelyn Mills, told the inquests. She remembered an outgoing, fun-loving brother who did impressions of people and played a terrifying joke trick on his niece, Rachel, to whom he was a godfather. He gained construction qualifications at college and was working for a construction company when he died. He had been to London and the south east looking for work during the recession, Evelyn said, and had taken coats for homeless people he had seen at Euston station.

“Peter made a mark on people wherever he went,” his sister said. “He was loved and he is severely missed.”

Read David Conn’s report from the inquest here.

Carl Rimmer, 21

21

“I am so glad I spoilt him in the short years he was here”

Carl lived in Liverpool with his parents, Doreen and Eddie, older brother, Kevin, and older sister, Gail.

In Doreen’s statement to the inquest, Carl is described as a “special” and “thoughtful” individual who always looked out for his family, especially his mother when his father worked night shifts.

Carl was saving up to take his long-term girlfriend, Alex, on holiday so they could get engaged, and was especially looking forward to Gail’s wedding.

Doreen said: “Because Carl was the baby of the family some people used to say I spoiled him rotten … I am so glad I spoilt him in the short years he was here.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Peter Tootle, 21

21

“The pub got a crate of Lucozade in just for him. That’s the kind of person Peter was”

Peter Tootle was the eldest of three children born to his parents, Joan and Peter Tootle.
In a loving personal statement, his mother described Peter as very shy, well mannered, fun-loving, keen on sport and music.
He did not drink or smoke, Joan said. “The pub got a crate of Lucozade in just for him. That’s the kind of person Peter was.”
He started seeing his girlfriend, Nicola, shortly before he died and they were planning to go to Spain in June 1989, which would have been his first holiday abroad. “He bought a load of new clothes for the holiday,” his mother said, “but it was never meant to be.”
Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

David Benson, 22

22

His daughter, Kirsty, was two years old when he died at Hillsborough

David Benson had a partner, Lesley, and the couple had a daughter, Kirsty, who was two years old when he died at Hillsborough. They were both at the inquests, with his twin brother, Paul, and parents Gloria and Brian, as Gloria read a loving personal statement.

Gloria Benson said the twin boys had grown up close but competitive, active in sport and fishing. When David left school, he worked for a timber company, rising to become a rep. He met Lesley at work. Gloria told the inquest: “When Kirsty got married, she asked Uncle Paul to give her away and have the first dance with her. They danced to Luther Vandross, Dance With My Father Again. This was very moving.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

David Birtle, 22

22

Had gained his HGV licence and started a new job

David Birtle, from Staffordshire, who had two younger brothers, was remembered by his mother, Jennifer Birtle; she said the family has been devastated by his death. She had been living in Oman with her second husband, who was working there, and her father called her in the early morning to tell her David had died at Hillsborough. Like several of the 96 people who died, his ashes were scattered at Anfield. “He became an ardent fan of Liverpool football club,” his mother said. “Sadly, that decision was to cost him his life.”

David had gained his HGV licence and started a new job when he died. “David wasn’t perfect,” his mother said. “None of us are. But he was just getting his life together.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Tony Bland, 22

22

“Remembered by many and will always be loved and missed”

Tony Bland had his heart restarted on the Hillsborough pitch after cardiopulmonary resuscitation by an off-duty doctor who was there as a Liverpool fan, and a South Yorkshire police officer. He was taken to hospital, then maintained on life support for four years until the request by his parents, Allan and Barbara Bland, for him to be allowed to die, was granted by the House of Lords. Allan Bland recalled the family visiting Tony every day, and never seeing any change in him.

“The young man we knew lost his life on 15 April 1989 and died in hospital four years later on 3 March 1993. Tony is remembered by many and will always be loved and missed.”

Read David Conn’s reports from the inquest here and here.

Gary Collins, 22

22

He was excited about the future

Gary Collins, from Bootle, was the middle of three children born to his parents, John and Evelyn, who remembered him in a loving personal statement.

After leaving school and working in various jobs, Gary became a quality controller in a food factory, which his father said he loved, because he made friends with “a great bunch of people”.

His father described Gary as a “popular lad” who had lots of friends, “a heart of gold” and was excited about the future.

“It was the most heartbreaking day of our lives as we learned that our precious son Gary would never be coming home,” his father said about his death. “To think that the Hillsborough disaster could have been prevented is excruciating to live with. The fact we will never see Gary reach his full potential in life is the cruellest thing life has ever dealt us.”

Andrew Devine, 22

22

“Very popular”; “the outdoor type”

Andrew Devine, from Mossley Hill, Liverpool, was 22 when he went to Hillsborough to support his beloved Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final. The eldest of five children to parents Stanley and Hilary, he was described by his sister Wendy Mason as “very popular”, and “the outdoor type”. He was working for Post Office Counters and training in accountancy.

Andrew sustained severe brain damage when deprived of oxygen in the crush at Hillsborough. He survived after being on a life support machine for six weeks in the intensive care unit of the Royal Hallamshire hospital. After years in specialist hospitals, Andrew was brought home and looked after by his family, with professional carers, for almost 30 years.

When he died in July 2021, Andrew was 55. The coroner at his inquest, André Rebello, ruled that Andrew’s crush injuries had proved fatal 32 years later, and that he was the 97th person unlawfully killed at Hillsborough.

In a statement his family said: “Our collective devastation is overwhelming but so too is the realisation that we were blessed to have had Andrew with us for 32 years since the Hillsborough tragedy. Andrew has been a much-loved son, brother and uncle. He has been supported by his family and a team of dedicated carers, all of whom devoted themselves to him.”

Tracey Cox, 23

23

“The funniest girl I knew … the sister I never had”

Tracey Cox went to Hillsborough with her boyfriend, Richard Jones, who also died in the crush, and Richard’s sister, Stephanie, who was injured and survived. Now Stephanie Conning, she read the personal statement about Tracey on behalf of the Cox family. The youngest of five children, Tracey had met Richard while youth-hostelling in the Lake District, and she later went to Sheffield University where they became a couple.
Stephanie Conning described Tracey as “the funniest girl I knew. She was the sister I never had”. Tracey, she said, touched many people’s lives “with her caring and selfless nature”.

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

William Roy Pemberton, 23

23

“An extremely clever boy”

Roy Pemberton’s two older sisters, Gillian and Shirley, read a personal statement about him at the inquests, remembering “an extremely clever boy” who was studying for a computer sciences degree at Leicester University. He funded his time through university by writing and selling computer software programmes, they said.

Their parents had lost a son previously, which made Roy more precious to them, the sisters said. Their father, William Pemberton, travelled to Hillsborough with Roy on the coach, without even intending to go to the match. He then had to go into the gymnasium to identify his son dead.

Shirley said: “We were all so very proud of him and it broke my parents’ hearts when they received a posthumous award from the university. It brought home exactly what was taken from him and what he could have achieved with such intelligence.”

Read David Conn’s report here.

Andrew Sefton, 23

23

“He had a dry, insightful sense of humour”

Colin Andrew Hugh William Sefton was named after “just about every male family member”, his sister, Julie Fallon, said, a source of great embarrassment to him. Andrew, as he was known, had a dry, insightful sense of humour, and was most at home among his family, she said.

He liked punk music and was increasingly politically aware, going on anti-unemployment rallies and picketing hare coursing. He had struggled to find employment and was working at the time as a security guard at Pontins.

“My brother’s life was like a book that had a title, an introduction, described the characters, set the scene – and then someone ripped out the rest of the pages,” his sister said.

Read David Conn’s report from the inquest here.

David Thomas, 23

23

“The type of person who would take the shirt off his back to use as a bandage if necessary”

David Thomas’s fiancée, Helen Jones, was two months pregnant with their daughter, Debbie, who was born after he died. He went to Hillsborough with his friends, the brothers Kevin and Christopher Traynor, who both also died in the crush in “pen” three. David Thomas was described by his mother, Valerie, as “quite successful in his short life”, having set up his own painting and decorating and repairs business, and put a deposit down for his own house.

She quoted what his brother-in-law said at the time of his death 25 years ago: “He was the type of person who would take the shirt off his back to use as a bandage if necessary.”

Read David Conn’s reports from the inquest here and here.

Peter Burkett, 24

24

“If you searched the world a million times over, you would never find anyone quite like Pete”

Peter Burkett went to the semi-final with one of his friends from a close group at work, Jonathon Owens, who also died in the disaster.

The inquests heard that Peter Burkett had come out of the overcrowded central “pens” at Hillsborough, but was directed back into the pens by a steward.

His sister, Lesley Roberts, remembered Peter and their other brother, Terry, walking her down the aisle at her wedding in November 1988, five months before Peter died.
“If you searched the world a million times over, you would never find anyone quite like Pete,” she said. “Such a lovely, quietly confident person, gentle and kind, intelligent and thoughtful. We are so proud of who Peter was, and so lucky to have known him.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Derrick Godwin, 24

24

“From the moment of his birth until his death, he gave us untold joy”

Derrick Godwin travelled from Swindon, where he worked in the accounts department at Allied Dunbar, to follow Liverpool all over the country.

His mother, Margaret, read a loving, admiring tribute to her son, describing him as thoughtful, sincere, helpful and hard-working, a lover of sport, music and an “avid” stamp collector when he was young.

Margaret Godwin, with her husband, Stanley, and their daughter, Valerie, with her, said: “He was a regular young man with his whole life in front of him. He was our only son. From the moment of his birth until his death, he gave us untold joy. Every day we think about him and what might have been.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Graham Roberts, 24

24

He gave his sister pocket money when he started work at 16

Graham Roberts, from Wallasey, was engaged to Sandra Hattersley, their wedding booked for the summer of 1990, when he was killed at Hillsborough. He went to the semi-final with Sandra’s two brothers-in-law in a group of eight friends, in two cars.

His sister, Sue Roberts, the secretary of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said her parents, who have since died, were broken-hearted after the disaster. She described Graham as a model pupil and keen footballer, who had worked his way up into a senior role as an engineering supervisor of contractors for British Gas.

Sue Roberts recalled that the family attended a new church building, which opened in January 1989. “Sadly, Graham’s was the first funeral held,” she said.

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

David Steven Brown, 25

25

“He loved me with a passion I never knew existed”

Steven Brown was married to Sarah, who was six months pregnant with their daughter, Samantha, when he died. Sarah read a statement to the inquests, saying Steven had “desperately” wanted to be a father. With his brother, Andy, he had been brought up by his grandmother in the Welsh village of Holt, in Clwyd.

Sarah Brown described her husband as having had four loves: fishing, his friends from the village, Liverpool football club, and her.

“I can honestly say that he loved me with a passion I never knew existed,” she said. “For Steven to have passed away when I was six months pregnant and he never got a chance to meet and greet his new little baby, well, there are no words to describe that void.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Richard Jones, 25

25

Partner of Tracey Cox, who also died at Hillsborough

Richard Jones, known as Rick, had a chemistry degree from Sheffield University and was considering post-graduate research, when he died at Hillsborough. He went to the semi-final with his partner, Tracey Cox, a Sheffield University undergraduate who also died, and his sister, Stephanie, who was injured and survived.

Rick’s mother, Doreen Jones, told the inquests that the family were in “a very dark place” when Rick and Tracey died, and that Rick’s brother, Peter, found the loss and the way Rick died “extremely hard to live with”. She said: “My pain is centred on what Rick and Tracey have missed and what our lives would be like now had they not been killed. After all, they only went to watch a game of football.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Barry Bennett, 26

26

“Missed by all those who were lucky enough to know him”

Barry Bennett, from Aintree, worked on the tug boats of the Alexander Towing Company in Liverpool. His brother, Philip, said Barry had been commended for his actions on board a tug vessel, and at the time he died he had enrolled on a first-mates and catering course, so that he could work on deep-sea tugs.

In a loving and admiring personal statement about his brother, Philip Bennett said the family were all Liverpool supporters: “We all feel in our family, if we had lost him at sea, there would have been an acceptance … Barry is missed by all those who were lucky enough to know him.”

Read David Conn’s report from the inquest here.

Andrew Brookes, 26

26

“Reliable, trustworthy, sporty, academic, good-humoured, respected”

Andrew Brookes, from Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, worked at Land Rover’s Longbridge plant, alongside his father, George. He went to the semi-final with four friends, and was crushed in “pen” three.

His sister, Louise Brookes, read a loving and defiant personal statement, saying that as her parents, who were devastated by his death, have both since died – her father in March 2014 – she was responsible for seeing justice done. She described her brother as reliable, trustworthy, sporty, academic, good-humoured, respected, a lover of music and fashion.

Louise said: “I just want to do my brother proud and get him the justice he deserves. I didn’t just lose my brother on 15 April 1989; I lost my parents, too.”

Read David Conn’s reports from the inquesthere and here.

Paul Hewitson, 26

26

“Handsome, witty, charismatic”

Paul Hewitson was a talented footballer who had been on the books of Everton but found his commitment compromised by his support for their rivals, Liverpool. His sister, Tracey Phelan, described her brother, who had his own roofing company and was in a long-term relationship, as “a wonderful son and brother; handsome, witty, charismatic”, who loved sport and was passionate about music, “from Bob Dylan to punk rock”. She said their mother was heartbroken when he died, and always remained so, and that she had herself died on the anniversary of the disaster, 15 April 2007.
“I imagine no parent ever recovers when they lose a child,” Tracey Phelan said, “especially one lost in such horrific circumstances.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Paula Smith, 26

26

“We shared so many happy memories”

Paula Smith was the youngest of four children born to her parents, Anne and John. Her brother, Walter, described her as quiet and shy, a “stay-at-home person”. Paula had worked in a youth training scheme at a hotel, but her mother was not happy with how she had been treated, and Paula never worked after that, becoming “more or less a companion to my mum”, who was heartbroken when she died, Walter said.

Paula went to Liverpool matches with Walter and his friend Stewart, but they had only one ticket for the semi-final, which they gave to Paula.

“I miss my baby sister Paula,” Walter Smith told the inquests. “We shared so many happy memories.”

Read David Conn’s report from the inquest here.

Christopher Traynor, 26

26

“Caring and gentle”

Christopher Traynor was the older brother of Kevin, 16, who also died at Hillsborough. His sister, Theresa Arrowsmith, described Christopher as “caring and gentle”, a devoted husband to his wife, Elizabeth, a nurse. Theresa, her brother, John, and Elizabeth identified the brothers’ bodies in the Hillsborough gymnasium in the early morning of 16 April 1989.

Christopher had trained as a joiner at the Cammell Laird shipyard until he was made redundant, working then for Wirral council.

Theresa Arrowsmith said Christopher was identified as having saved the life of another Liverpool supporter in the crush, Norman Langley, who stayed in touch with the Traynor family.

Of Christopher, Theresa Arrowsmith said: “His passing left a huge gap in all our lives.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Barry Glover, 27

27

He had many interests and a good social life

Barry Glover, from Bury, had been married for almost three years, to Stephanie, a nurse, who read a loving statement about him to the inquests. She recalled that he had run a flourishing grocery shop and delivery business, with his father, George.

She said that although they worked hard and saved most of their money to renovate the house they bought, Barry had many interests and a good social life, and they went on holiday to Florida in 1988 to celebrate their second wedding anniversary. “We came back with some amazing memories,” Stephanie said, “which I am happy about, as within 12 months Barry had died, so these were all I had left.”

Read David Conn’s reports from the inquest here and here.

Gary Harrison, 27

27

“Extremely loving and protective”

Gary Harrison and his wife, Karen, had two children: Claire, who was eight when he died, and Paul, who was four. Gary was the youngest of seven brothers, one of whom, Stephen, also died alongside him at Hillsborough.
He was a talented footballer and fond of music, Karen said. “Every weekend, we would listen to the Top 40. He was always singing and would have Claire dancing around the kitchen.” Karen recalled him as a good father, “extremely loving and protective”. Paul grew up, despite the loss of his father, to become a professional footballer, currently goalkeeper and captain of Welsh Premier League club The New Saints.
Claire Harrison read out very moving extracts from booklets she and Paul had made about their dad as children, after he died.
Read David Conn’s report from the inquest here.

Christine Jones, 27

27

Became a vegetarian after hearing the Smiths’ song Meat is Murder

Christine Jones was a senior radiographer at the Royal Preston Hospital, a Sunday school teacher, and treasurer of the Liverpool supporters club in Preston.

She had been married since 1985 to Stephen Jones, a fellow radiographer, who described her in a loving personal statement as “an amazing wife and excellent homemaker”. They loved music and she became a vegetarian after hearing the Smiths’ song Meat is Murder.

Stephen, also a Liverpool supporter, was in “pen” three with his wife, and survived the lethal crush. “We were very happy in the four years we spent as husband and wife,” he told the inquests, “and I speak for her family and indeed myself when I say she is dearly missed today.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Nicholas Joynes, 27

27

“I know Nick would have made a fantastic father”

Nick Joynes, an engineer at the Otis elevator company, had been married, to Gillian, for seven months when he died at Hillsborough. He was one of four children born to his parents, Patricia and Peter, long-term Hillsborough Family Support Group campaigners.

Nick’s brother, Paul, joined by his parents and Gillian, read a loving personal statement, describing Nick as a sociable, sporty character who never got over the death of another brother, Mark, in 1983.

Paul Joynes said: “Nick and Gillian were so happy together. They made such a lovely couple. They had so many dreams and such a great future ahead of them. I know Nick would have made a fantastic father. His death has left a massive void in our family, and we miss him dearly.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Francis McAllister, 27

27

“His influence and his friendships spread far and wide”

Francis McAllister was working as a fire fighter in London at the time of the disaster, and according to his brother, Mark, was also playing in the fire brigade’s national football team. He had two brothers and two sisters.

Mark McAllister, reading a personal statement about his brother, said he was charming, generous, and that his “influence and his friendships spread far and wide”.

Mark told a family story, from when Francis was a child, that on holiday in north Wales he had fallen into a boating lake, and his father saved him from drowning. “Our father died nine years after Hillsborough,” Mark said, “always regretting that he had not been on hand to save his son one more time.”

Alan McGlone, 28

28

Married, to Irene, with two daughters, Amy and Claire

Alan McGlone was married, to Irene, and had two daughters: Amy, five when her father died, and Claire, two. He went to the semi-final with three friends, one of whom, Joseph Clark, another father of two, also died.

Amy McGlone, reading out her mother’s statement, said that when Alan was eight, he had lost his own father to cancer. He and Irene had met at school, and married in 1982. He was a talented table tennis player; she said his main interests were mechanics, animals and sport.

The night he died, Irene McGlone recalled Amy asked if Alan would wake them up when he got home. Irene said: “I am still waiting to wake my girls up out of this nightmare, and send their daddy in to them.”

Read David Conn’s reports from the inquest here and here.

Joseph Clark, 29

29

“Only 29 years old with his whole life in front of him”

Joseph Clark was married, to Jacqui, and had two young children: Stephen, who was five, and Jennifer, a baby, born in 1989. Their first son, Joseph, had died when he was only six and a half weeks old.

Stephen Clark read the statement on behalf of Jacqui, who described her husband, nicknamed “Oey”, as “quite a shy lad”, whom she had met when they were teenagers and “loved to bits”.

She said of the day of the semi-final: “He gave us all a kiss and said ‘see you later’ and off he went. That was the last thing that he said to us because he never came back from the match. He was only 29 years old with his whole life in front of him.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here and here.

Christopher Edwards, 29

29

“He made the most of his life, quietly enjoying it as he went along”

Christopher Edwards was remembered by his father, Sydney Edwards, as a young man who “would never miss an opportunity, and made the most of his life, quietly enjoying it as he went along”. He obtained a job as a junior laboratory technician after leaving school, and worked and studied to gain promotion to senior status.

Christopher had always been active in the church, and close to his sisters, Gail and Anne, Sydney said. He was a keen golfer, and travelled around the world to watch Liverpool.

Sydney said: “I often wonder to this day about the family life he could have had, had his life not been cut short. The only comfort I have is that Chris experienced what it was like to be loved and lived his life to the full.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

James Hennessy, 29

29

“My dad’s mates don’t know that he would let me play with his hair and put bobbles in”

James Hennessy was divorced at the time he died, the father of Charlotte, who was six at the time. In a moving personal statement about her father, Charlotte Hennessy, who now has three boys herself, told the inquests that although she was so young when he died, she had many fond memories of him. He was a self-employed plasterer, an avid Liverpool fan who was a mod and had a Lambretta scooter, but his mates, she said, did not know him as the father who let her put bobbles in his hair, and paint his nails. Charlotte said: “Losing my dad at Hillsborough stole my childhood from me and took away my best friend. It left me in a life of anger and bitterness and depression. I don’t want to live in the shadow of Hillsborough any more, and when all this is over, may my dad rest in peace.”
Read David Conn’s reports from the inquest here and here.

Alan Johnston, 29

29

“He shall be missed with infinity”

Alan Johnston was an accountant working for the National Health Service, based at Walton Hospital. Ken, one of his three older brothers closest in age to him, wrote in a personal statement that they had become particularly close after both their parents died when Alan was young. He had won a scholarship at 10 to a grammar school, the Liverpool Institute, and attained high grades in his O and A levels.

Alan loved sport, Ken said, had many interests, a wide circle of friends, and was engaged to be married when he died. He was a season-ticket holder at Liverpool and six of his friends were in court to hear the statement read.

Ken told the inquest: “He shall be missed with infinity. Alan’s close family is desperate for the justice he deserves. He was an amazing guy.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Anthony Kelly, 29

29

“We were so proud of our son”

Anthony Kelly was a former soldier and had served in Northern Ireland, according to his mother, Betty Almond, who wrote the personal statement about him for the inquests.

She said that he had been born premature and tiny, but had grown into “a grand lad”, with many friends, and had gone into the army when he was 18. “We were so proud of our son,” she said. He had done various jobs since leaving the army, she said. The inquests heard that he went to the semi-final with two friends, one of whom, Michael Sullivan, said a steward directed them down the tunnel to the overcrowded central “pens”.

“I miss him so much,” his mother said. “Anthony was our only child. Hillsborough should never had happened.”

Read David Conn’s report on the inquest here.

Martin Wild, 29

29

As well as supporting Liverpool, he went to Belle Vue in Manchester to watch speedway

Martin Wild, from Stockport, lived with his grandmother, Anne Wild, and worked in a printing press in Cheshire, the inquests were told. Monica Whitley, Martin’s stepmother, said at the time of the disaster that as well as being a Liverpool supporter, he also went to Belle Vue in Manchester to watch speedway. She identifed a blue Wrangler jacket he had worn to the match. It had two lapel badges on it, one for Liverpool football club, the other for Belle Vue speedway. The inquests were told that Martin Wild’s family had not responded to an invitation to provide a personal statement about him. A friend, John Murray, went to the semi-final with him, and survived.

Read David Conn’s report on the inquest here.

Peter Thompson, 30

30

“A warm and generous nature, and a quick sense of humour”

Peter Thompson, from Widnes, took a degree in electrical and electronic engineering at Imperial College, London, as part of which he worked for British Aerospace for a year. Denis Thompson, one of his two brothers, said that after graduating Peter had a varied, successful career in engineering, working in Norway, Canada, the US and Eindhoven in Holland, where he met his wife, Linda.
Linda was pregnant when he went to the semi-final. Their daughter, Nikki, was born in August 1989, after he died.

“Peter had a warm and generous nature, and a quick sense of humour,” Denis said. “Above all, he was completely without pretension. He would, I am sure, have been a wonderful father to Nikki.” Read David Conn’s report from the inquest here.

Stephen Harrison, 31

31

“He had many wonderful qualities”

Stephen Harrison went to the semi-final with his younger brother Gary, who also died, and two other brothers, Brian and David. In an emotional statement written by his wife, Susan, she recalled a loving husband and “doting” and “devoted” father to their four children. He was her soulmate, Susan wrote, whom she married when they were 18; he did the cooking, decorating, and was meticulous about how he looked.

“Stephen was never miserable and had many wonderful qualities,” she said.

Anne Wright, Stephen and Gary Harrison’s mother, said in a statement: “In the weeks after the disaster, I would sit waiting for a knock on the door, hoping to see Stephen and Gary. It was a struggle for me to come to terms with the fact that this would never happen again.”

Read David Conn’s report on the inquest here.

Eric Hankin, 33

33

“A big giant-shaped hole has been left in my heart”

Eric Hankin was married, to Karen, and had two children: Lynsey, who was 12 when he died, and David, who was seven. Eric was a staff nurse at Ashworth Hospital, with responsibility for caring for people with mental illness. He travelled to the semi-final with 12 friends, who stayed at the ground to look for him, his father, Eric Hankin Sr, told the inquests.

Lynsey Hankin recalled her father’s devotion to his family, and told the inquest: “I loved my dad and he loved me unconditionally. A big giant-shaped hole has been left in my heart since the day he died. I’ve learnt how to live with it, but I don’t think the pain will ever leave me.”

Read David Conn’s report on the inquest here.

Vincent Fitzsimmons, 34

34

“Extremely hardworking and very ambitious”

Vincent Fitzsimmons, from Wigan, was remembered at the inquests by his son, Craig, who was nine when his father died. Craig Fitzsimmons said his parents divorced in 1987, and he had very fond memories of staying with his father over weekends. He described Vincent as “extremely hardworking and very ambitious”, citing his completion of a managerial course to help his prospects of further promotion at work.

Craig Fitzsimmons told the inquests: “When Dad died, it left a huge void in my life. I suppose I never really got over the fact that I lost my dad so suddenly and in such an awful way. I have missed his love, support and advice over the years.”

Read David Conn’s report on the inquest here.

Roy Hamilton, 33

33

“Both Joanne and I called him Dad”

Roy Hamilton married Wendy in 1981, and her two children, Stuart and Joanne, regarded him as “a real dad”, Stuart Hamilton told the inquests. “Both Joanne and I called him Dad, and many people assumed he was our natural father.”

Stuart said Roy was “a genuine blue-collar man” who worked hard physically for British Rail, and took evening classes to progress his career. He was promoted in November 1988, and 1989 was to be a good year, including Wendy’s 40th birthday, Joanne’s 18th, and their first holiday by aeroplane, to Rhodes.

“For Joanne, remembering all the lovely, funny things about Dad wasn’t difficult; the hardest thing for Joanne was recalling the tragic events of the day and how he was so cruelly taken away from us.”

Read David Conn’s report on the inquest here.

Patrick Thompson, 35

35

“A hardworking family man who just happened to love football”

Patrick Thompson was married, with five children all under the age of six. His eldest son, Patrick Jr, was five, Sean was four, his daughter Katie was one, and twins, Rebecca and Brendan, were nine months old. He went to the semi-final with his brothers, Joseph and Kevin Thompson; footage showed Kevin cradling his brother’s head when he found him on the pitch. Patrick’s wife, Kathleen, said her worst pain comes from their children having limited memories of their father. She asked the jury: “Please listen to the evidence and let my children know that their dad was not a hooligan, but a hardworking family man who just happened to love football.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Michael Kelly, 38

38

“Only lovely, tender memories”

Michael Kelly was a former Royal Navy seaman who had separated but remained on good terms with his former wife, Marilyn. They had a daughter, Joanna, who was 13 when her father died. He was working in a National Freight distribution warehouse in Bristol at the time he went to the semi-final.

Joanna said she had “only lovely, tender memories” of her dad.

Mike’s brother, Stephen Kelly, a long-term Hillsborough justice campaigner, made a powerful statement, saying Mike was more than one of the 96, body number 72: “I want to remove that sequence of numbers from him,” Stephen Kelly said. “I am here today waiting to reclaim my brother … I hope the decision of this inquest allows me that.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Brian Matthews, 38

38

“Funny, loving, artistic, generous, larger-than-life”

Brian Matthews was a former building society manager who became a financial consultant shortly before he died. In loving statements by his three sisters, and his wife, Margaret, he was remembered as academically able, funny, and extensively involved in charity work.

“For somebody who contributed so much to society, the thought that our brother suffered such an ignominious death is repugnant,” his sister, Deborah Matthews said.

His wife Margaret Matthews told the inquests of her devastation when Brian, her first love, died: “I could not comprehend that my funny, loving, artistic, generous, larger-than-life husband could go to a football match and never come home,” she said. “I was so lonely without Brian. I would not wish the experience of those early years, following his death, on my worst enemy.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

David Rimmer, 38

38

Had fallen in love at first sight

David Rimmer was married and had two children, Paul, who was nine when his father died, and Kate, who was seven. A sales manager, David went to the semi-final with his friend Geoffrey Bridson, and died in “pen” four. David’s wife, Linda Kirby, said Geoffrey Bridson has always felt guilty for surviving. He still goes to Liverpool matches with Paul Rimmer.

Linda told the inquests she and David had fallen in love at first sight, then worked hard and felt everything was falling into place, when he died. The children, she said, did not really have memories of him, due to the trauma. “When this inquest is all over, hopefully the truth will be revealed and he will be fully at peace,” Linda said.

Read David Conn’s report from the inquest here.

Inger Shah, 38

38

“A warm-hearted, kind, generous, funny, brave and intelligent human being”

Inger Shah, originally from Denmark, was a single mother to her then teenage children, Becky and Daniel, after divorcing their father. In an emotional tribute, Becky Shah said that after their mother died, she and Daniel were taken into local authority care.

Becky Shah described her mother, a secretary at the Royal Free Hospital in London, as “very friendly, upbeat, fun-loving”, with many interests, in culture and politics, as well as supporting Liverpool. “My mum was neither a drunken hooligan or a bad mother,” Becky said. “[She was] a loving, caring, devoted and loyal mother, as well as a warm-hearted, kind, generous, funny, brave and intelligent human being, one who is still so badly missed and much loved, and always will be.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

David Hawley, 39

39

Fun-loving, hardworking, a football enthusiast

David Hawley was married and had three children, one of whom, Leanne, was only one when he died. She read deeply fond memories of “a great man”, from his wife, Anne, daughter, Claire, 16 when he died, and son, John, who was 12. They remembered a character, fun-loving, hardworking, a football enthusiast, who made their home “a happy house”.
David Hawley went to the semi-final with his nephew, Stephen O’Neill, who was also killed in the crush.

Leanne Hawley told the inquests: “The saddest thing for me is the fact that I have had to grow up without him and I have missed out on knowing him … How I wish I could have known him for myself. How different our lives could have been.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Thomas Howard, 39

39

A doting father, hardworking, known as “gentle giant” at work

Thomas Howard was married and had three children; his oldest, Tommy Jr, 14, died with him in “pen” three of the Leppings Lane terrace at Hillsborough. David Lackey, another Liverpool supporter trapped in the crush next to them, recalled Tommy Sr repeatedly saying: “My son, my son.”

His other son, Alan, and sister, Muriel Bellamy, remembered Tommy Sr as a doting father, hardworking, known as “gentle giant” at work. “It is saddening that he isn’t with us to see his beautiful granchildren, his grandson being given his first name in his and our brother’s memory,” Alan told the inquests, “all because they only went to watch a game of football.”

Read David Conn’s report from the inquest here.

Arthur Horrocks, 41

41

“A wonderful husband and best friend”

Arthur Horrocks worked for Prudential insurance, his wife, Susan, told the inquests, and many of his customers attended his funeral. The couple had two young sons, Jamie and Jon, when Arthur died. She said she and Arthur had first met when she was 12, at church. They had “a great life together” after they married, she said, going to the theatre, Elton John concerts, and Wembley cup finals.

Arthur “worshipped our sons”, Susan said.

“This has been the hardest thing I have ever had to write, but I hope it goes some way towards saying what a wonderful husband and best friend he was to me, as well as devoted and much loved dad, brother, uncle and friend, and how much we miss him every day.”

Read David Conn’s reports from the inquest here.

Eric Hughes, 42

42

A “devoted” father

Eric Hughes had two children, and was remembered in an emotional statement by his son, David, who was 17 when he died. David said he “idolised” his dad, and they went to Liverpool matches constantly throughout his teenage years.

Eric, he said, was a “devoted” father to him and his younger sister Nicola; he had separated from their mother, Pat.

David said watching Liverpool with his dad was “like a religion to us, and we loved it, and we loved spending time together”. It was a shock, he said, when Eric could not get him a ticket for the 1989 semi-final at Hillsborough. Lamenting losing him at 17, David said: “I never even got to buy my dad a pint.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Henry Burke, 47

47

Full of fun, but also “old school”, teaching his children right from wrong

Henry Burke was married with three children, remembered at the inquests in a loving statement read by his daughter, Christine. She said her father had been full of fun, but also “old school”, teaching his children right from wrong, insisting they all eat all together at 6pm every evening. He was about to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary with his wife, Christine Sr, in 1989.
One of Henry’s two sons, Ian, was working with him, learning his trade as a builder, when he died.
Speaking to the jury, Christine Burke said: “We want you all to remember that my dad is not a number. He is Henry Thomas Burke, who went to watch his beloved Liverpool, and never came home.” Read David Conn’s reports from the inquest here and here.

Raymond Chapman, 50

50

“It was impossible to believe he would never be coming home”

Raymond Chapman was married, father of a son, Andrew, and daughter, Karen, when he died at Hillsborough. He went to the semi-final with four friends, including Steven Fox, who also died. His wife, Joan, remembered him lovingly in a statement to the inquests, and Andrew and Karen said their mother has never come to terms with his death, and the way he died.

“Since his death, all our lives changed, with the pain and heartache of dealing with the disaster, bringing a huge strain on the family in the early years as we all tried to come to terms with what had happened,” Andrew and Karen said. “It was impossible to believe he would never be coming home.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

John Anderson, 62

62

“Dad is greatly missed by all of us”

John Anderson, known as Jack, had been married to his wife, Eileen, for 42 years, and had two children: Brian, who was at Hillsborough with him, and Dorothy, and four grandchildren.

Brian Anderson described his father as a family man with a romantic side, having married Eileen on Valentine’s Day, 1946. Jack had a motorbike, Brian said, and took his mother all over the country supporting Liverpool away.

Brian said Jack worked hard all his life, mostly at the firm OTIS elevators, where he ran the sports and social club. He was still working, but was looking forward to retirement. “My mum has been deprived of spending her later years with her husband,” Brian said, “and is saddened by the fact they were unable to experience these times together. Dad is greatly missed by all of us.”

Gerard Baron, 67

67

“Christian, sportsman, serviceman, family man and worthy citizen”

Aged 67, Gerard Baron was the oldest of the 96 people who died at Hillsborough. He lived in Preston with his wife, Winifred, and they had five daughters and two sons. Gerard served with the RAF in Burma and India throughout the second world war, then worked for Royal Mail.

He went to the semi-final with his son, Gerard Jr, who survived the crush. Gerard Jr described his father as a “Christian, sportsman, serviceman, family man and worthy citizen”.

Of Hillsborough, Gerard Jr said: “Never in this world did we envisage anything would happen to us, as you expect to be safe attending high-profile sporting occasions. Neither of us envisaged witnessing hell, nor did we expect to be fighting so desperately for our lives, as were so many others.”

Read David Conn’s report of the inquest here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker