Hillsborough stories: Martin Kevin Traynor

Martin and Christopher Traynor Kevin Traynor (left) and Christopher Traynor were one of three sets of brothers who were killed at Hillsborough

An apprentice joiner from Birkenhead, Kevin Traynor, as he was known to his family, travelled with his brother Christopher Traynor and friend Dave Thomas, who both also died.

This is the full statement to the inquests from his sister, Theresa Arrowsmith:

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Martin Kevin Traynor was known to his family as Kevin or Kev. He was born in May 1972. Kevin was the youngest of the five children of James and Joan Traynor.

Kevin attended St Joseph's Roman Catholic Primary School, St Werburgh's Middle School, Bishop Challinor Secondary and then St Benedict's Secondary.

Kevin was a prefect in St Benedict's and took care of the younger children who started at the school, which is commonly now known as a mentor. Kevin was well thought of by the staff at all his schools.

He was a resourceful boy and he once organised the end of year school trip to Blackpool for his own class, which the school knew nothing about, using his own initiative. He was a born leader who also listened to other people's wants and needs and tried to help them where he could.

Who were the 96 victims?

Eight of the Hillsborough victims, CW from top left: Paul Clark, Stephen Copoc, Tracey Cox, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, Steven Fox, Vincent Fitzsimmons, Christopher Edwards

Kevin loved to play football with his three older brothers. He also played for an amateur football club, Parkside FC, alongside former Liverpool player Jason McAteer.

He had a sense of adventure that developed as he grew older. He was very much a person who loved his sport, whether it was indoor or outdoor sport and whatever the weather.

He liked to keep fit and took great pride in his appearance. He was a member of the Shaftsbury Boys Club from the age of seven, often going on camping trips as well as other adventures with his three older brothers, two of whom were Shaftsbury Boys Club 'old boys' at the time.

Kevin also had a love of boxing and was a member of the Willaston Boxing Association. Kevin was a light heavyweight boxer for his age but never got to have his first fight which was scheduled to take place after 15 April.

Following his death, the Boxing Association dedicated a trophy in Kevin's honour, which is still to this day awarded yearly to the most up and coming improved young boxer.

Mr Terence Finlay, secretary for the Wallasey Amateur Boxing Association, recently wrote to the family to say that Kevin was a 'very caring and selfless person, well liked by his club mates with his cheerful personality.

'Determination and dedication'

He was very keen to participate in boxing, but he was overweight. Such was his determination and dedication to compete that he persevered for years until he lost the weight and attained the standard to compete at club level. Only for the consequence of Hillsborough ... he would have had a future in the sport.'

Growing up, Kevin would often be found in the local woods building tree houses and playing with his school friends, family members and extended family members such as his brother-in-law's nieces and nephews.

He often visited me when I was away as an army wife. He came every school holiday, wherever I was, and family were in the world, and we lived in Litchfield, Poulton Le Fylde, Ireland, Gibraltar, Colchester and Germany, but Kevin would always be there.

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My nephews are growing up in the shadow of their uncles they will never know, hug or go to a game with.”

End Quote Theresa Arrowsmith Sister of Christopher and Kevin Traynor

I remember when he visited my husband and I in Gibraltar at the age of 10; he wanted to go to sea for an adventure all of his own in a dinghy. His sense of adventure never left him. It was on one of his trips to see me that he was introduced to fishing by my late husband. Kevin continued that sport after his brother-in-law died in the Christmas of 1986.

He was hard working and had lots of drive and ambition. Even from a young school age, he took a local paper round, delivering the papers to his neighbours and friends.

Upon leaving school in 1988, he decided to follow in his brother's footsteps by undertaking a youth training scheme at Monks Ferry, Birkenhead, as a trainee joiner. After his second placement, he was offered a full apprenticeship as they were very pleased with the development and attitude he exhibited for such a young man.

Like his older siblings, Kevin had a love of music which ranged from The Jam, The Beatles, The Christians to Madness. He loved films and his favourite film was 'Raging Bull', which he would watch over and over again.

He was a brave boy and in 1988 Kevin was stabbed over the eye whilst attempting to stop the burglary of a neighbour's house after the neighbour called for help. This incident left him with a scar above his eye.

'Chased a burglar'

It was one of the many incidents that Kevin's courage showed in adversity.

John Traynor: "Their names will be remembered in history, albeit for the wrong reasons"

He had actually chased the burglar barefoot and had cut all his feet in the process over broken glass, which the burglar had thrown down in an attempt to avert his capture.

In another incident, Kevin and our brother Paul averted another burglary at my home when I lived across the road from my parents. These events encouraged Kevin to become a member of the local Neighbourhood Watch.

Such was his caring nature that when the burglary took place at my house, shortly after he stayed in my house with me and my two younger children.

After I had finished renovating the interior of the house, Kevin was assisting to put some items in the loft when suddenly we heard a bang upstairs. On closer inspection, we discovered Kevin's foot and his leg through my bedroom ceiling. He looked so sheepish, it was hard to be cross with him. My aunty, who was present at the time, was more upset than we were.

Kevin thought family was important. My daughter Clare was six when he died. She still remembers him and my brother Christopher running across the road with wolf masks on to scare her and her brother Carl. Kevin used to pick them up from school and take them on his paper round.

He couldn't wait to start taking driving lessons so he could have a car of his own, and become more independent. Growing up, he always wanted to own a yellow Lamborghini. The events which unfolded on 15 April, 1989 stopped this from happening. He would have turned 17 in May, 1989.

Kevin always had a passion for Liverpool Football Club and if you could read his diaries you would see just how much he loved his football. He used to write down every transfer which took place.

'Not that stadium!'

On 9 April, 1988, Kevin attended the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest and was in the Leppings Lane End. He voiced his concerns then about the safety of the stadium and the crushing that took place that year and, upon his finding that the 1989 FA Cup semi-final was going to take place there again, his words to his family were, 'Oh, no, not that stadium again.'

As events unfolded, I was out shopping with my brother, Paul, for the finishing touches to our house. We had just purchased an outdoor table and four chairs when we heard the news of what was unfolding.

At this point, we had only moved the table and two chairs to the car. We left immediately and never went back for the other two chairs.

I still have that said same patio set with those two chairs missing. Whenever I look at them, it reminds me that there will always be two missing chairs at the Traynor family households for the two family members who never came back. I paint them every year in time for the anniversary.

Their absence is felt by the entire family; Kevin can never be replaced. At 17, he went too soon.

It is not about the amount of breaths that you take in life, but the amount of breathtaking events that you are part of. Unlike us here today, Kevin's name will live on, albeit for the wrong reasons.

I know what long-term suffering our maternal grandfather felt all his life after the loss of his brother, Ambrose, when he lost his life in the Lusitania disaster. My Mum lived on knowing that she had an uncle she would never know apart from the fact he was part of history.

My nephews, Joe and Nick, like their Nan, are growing up in the shadow of their uncles that they will never know, hug or go to a game with. They will just be a part of history. They will know the pain as they grow older of not having cousins to share their lives with.

Their uncles will be photographs on the sideboard, who lost their lives in a football tragedy, and for that reason their names will live on in history, albeit for the wrong reasons.

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