April 15, 2014

Bill Esterson

April 15 will forever be a day of sorrow and reflection in Merseyside and beyond as we remember the 96 who lost their lives, and the families who have bravely fought for justice for 25 years.

Only now are we getting to the bottom of what happened that day and the new inquests that have just started will hopefully finally see us get the justice that the families and campaigners have been fighting for.

I will be marking the day by representing the people of Sefton Central at the memorial service at Anfield and I will continue to support all of the families in their long battle for justice.

Anyone who has listened to the heartbreaking stories of the families at the inquests over the last few weeks, has been reminded of the scale of the injustice done at Hillsborough and ever since. 

But as well as the terrible memories of what happened, family members also recalled their loved ones with much love. 

Here are just a few of the comments made about some of the 96 by their relatives over the years. 

Christopher Devonside from Formby was 18 when he died. Dad Barry said: "Chris was a credit to us and was superb in every possible way. He could join in with a laugh and joke with everyone. Along with his football, he loved his golf and volleyball. He was studying at Hugh Baird College and wanted to go into journalism." 

Meanwhile, 17 year old Simon Bell from Crosby was remembered by his sister Fiona, who told the new inquest court that Simon was a polite young man who was easy going, full of fun and energy. 

Seventeen year old Stephen Robinson also lived in Crosby. His brother Peter said: "You have to think of the positives and find a way to get on with life."

Gary Jones from Maghull was another 18 year old who died. His dad, Phil said: “He loved football, golf and horse racing. He might have been a wheeler and a dealer if he'd have lived."

For the families of the 96, the pain of the tragedy never goes away and even after 25 years, there is still a very long way to go. But the determination of the families to see justice done has kept them going so far. 

They have the support of the people of Merseyside and the people of the whole country and that support will continue for as long it is needed.

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