England

Hillsborough stories: Victoria Jane Hicks

  • 22 April 2014
  • From the section England
Image copyright Hillsborough Inquests

A 15-year-old from Pinner, Middlesex, Victoria Jane Hicks was the youngest girl to die in the tragedy. She travelled by car with her father and mother, Trevor and Jenni Hicks - who both survived - and her older sister, Sarah Louise Hicks, who also died

This is the full statement to the inquests read by her father, Trevor Hicks:

Some family background: Jenni and I were both the eldest children of working class families from Teesside. We married on 24 June, 1967.

Sarah Louise Hicks was born on 10 April, 1970, which of course means that today would have been her 44th birthday. There were birth problems with Sarah, but everything ended well.

She was beautiful and we were chuffed, and of course we were new parents.

Victoria Jane Hicks was born on 20 July, 1973. Sarah, then just three, was delighted with her new sister, just as we were.

We were all at the 1988 semi-final at Hillsborough and went back in 1989, full of hope and aspiration of another trip to Wembley. Only Jenni and I made that trip to Wembley.

Jenni and I divorced in 1991, again, as a result of Hillsborough.

Vicki was not as tall and slim as Sarah, but she was very much more image and fashion conscious.

Attractive in a different way, Vicki had wonderful long, thick black hair that could be worn straight, curly, braided or plaited and always looked great. One of the things she hated was having had her teeth in braces for a couple of years.

'Appearance fooled many'

Media captionTrevor Hicks' tribute to his daughters Sarah and Vicky

Vicki had to live in Sarah's academic shadow, but she, too, was bright. She got into Haberdasher's on merit and had completed mock O-levels with good grades forecast. It was just a pity that she did not live to collect the certificate.

However, where she led Sarah was with a strength of character and determination that was scary at times, especially at an early age, when the apparent shyness, quiet voice and cute, almost angelic, appearance fooled many.

But we all knew that Vicki didn't take prisoners.

Vicki was a lovely girl who could charm monkeys out of the tree, but she had one fault, it was that she was a bad loser. Be it playing Snap, Monopoly or Snakes and Ladders, Vicki had to win.

I once borrowed a pound off her as I didn't have enough change to pay the milkman and, when I paid it back the next day, she asked where the interest was, and I had to pay it.

Another example of her determination was when she was determined to be a sports reporter. Using an old typewriter from the loft, she taught herself to type and secretly produced a match report in her bedroom after every trip to Anfield.

Many match reports were in that file, but no self-respecting editor could have ever used them because of the bias and blatant accusations, such as when, after a Tottenham Hotspur defeat, she wrote, "I'm not saying the referee was bent, but he went home on the Holstein bus" which obviously is the Tottenham Hotspur bus, for those who don't know.

We never knew any of this until after her death, when we found this lever-arch folder full of these.

Strong will

Vicki would have been so proud when Steve McMahon, who was her favourite Liverpool player, used some of her photographs of him and the team and one of her match reports in his autobiography book. He loved the one where she had written, "He is so good - I bet he could walk on water."

Media captionJenni Hicks pays tribute to her "bright and beautiful" daughters killed at Hillsborough

Vicki had inherited her mother's will and, once her mind was set, she was hard to shift. I remember when she was about four or five, we took her to the building society to open an account with the cash from her piggy bank.

It all went fine until she realised that "her coins" would go into general circulation and not be kept in the bank, so she hung on to the money for dear life and it took lots of persuasion to eventually get her to part with it to open the account.

She had a bit of a tough guy image, but that was let down a bit when she always dived behind the sofa at the Dr Who theme music. She loved the programme, which the old ones will remember was even more scary in black and white, and the Dalek voices made her shudder, but she still insisted on watching it.

Vicki always said that "One day I'll have a Ferrari". I honestly believe she would have, if she had survived Hillsborough.

'Plotting in rooms'

They [Vicki and Sarah] were very different, maybe, but they were very much a pair. They had their arguments, but they would defend each other to the death - literally, as it turned out.

They did many, many things together, and their rooms were joined via an en suite bathroom that meant they could go from bedroom to bedroom unseen. That part of the house was theirs, with lots of teenage discussions (and I'm sure a lot of plotting).

A feminine enclave that was not readily opened to men, especially Dad.

It retained their perfume for many weeks after their death.

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.

'Sheer waste'

All our hopes and aspirations were in our children and our expectation was that they would do better, achieve more and build upon the start that we had striven to hard to give them.

The most difficult thing for me is the sheer waste of Sarah and Vicki's life, of their talent and ability, but also their care and compassion for their fellow man.

Accuse me of rose-tinted spectacles, but they were good girls, attractive, and with promise, happy and full of purpose, but kind and considerate too.

We are justifiably proud of Sarah and Vicki. They lived together, they died together in horrific circumstances, supporting the team they loved.

They are buried together. Need I say more.

This is the full statement to the inquests read by her mother, Jenni Hicks:

I am speaking as the mother of Sarah and Victoria Hicks, and may I say the proud mother of Sarah and Victoria Hicks.

Thank God, Vicki, I'd had three years experience of motherhood before you came along. If anyone could turn a drama into a crisis, it was you.

Maybe that was due to the fact that you had a gifted older sister. It must have been very hard to follow in Sarah's footsteps.

I remember that night, a month before you died, when the geography teacher said that you could match Sarah's achievements. I saw you grow taller.

I remember the skirt you wore to Sunday School. You were told you couldn't wear one as short as that. Your answer was to stop going to Sunday School.

Sports reporter ambition

I remember when we had to attend Sarah's full-immersion baptism in 1986. It clashed with the World Cup final, so you stood at the back of the church with a radio glued to your ear.

You were football mad. You would sob when Liverpool lost. You were determined to be a sports reporter and we would hear you typing away, writing your match reports after every game.

You hid them away in the files under your bed and you would never let me read them. I did so only after you died.

Sarah and Vicki

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.

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