England

Hillsborough stories: Stephen Francis Harrison

  • 30 April 2014
  • From the section England
Stephen Harrison

Stephen Harrison was a married father of four from Liverpool who worked as a driver. He travelled by coach to the match with younger brother Gary Harrison, who also died at Hillsborough.

This is the full statement to the inquests from his wife, Susan Harrison:

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Stephen Francis Harrison was born on 6 April, 1958. He was a loving husband to me and a doting father to our four beautiful children, Stephen, Lee, Nicola and Joanne.

Stephen was taken from us at the age of 31.

I first saw Stephen on his Chopper outside his house. I was only 14 at the time and recall telling my friend that one day we would both be together.

She just laughed, but within a week Stephen and I went on our first date. It was love at first sight and I just couldn't believe that we were together.

Our relationship blossomed and we went on to marry on 5 June ,1976 at 18 years of age.

Stephen was a devoted family man. Every action he took was with his family's best interests in mind. He ensured that we never went without and enjoyed yearly holidays as a family in Talacre, Wales.

We have very fond memories of our time at the Robin Hood camp and our visits to Thrift Beach. Stephen loved taking the children to the fairground and took great satisfaction watching them enjoy the rides and arcade games.

All I have left are those memories and I long to be able to share those times with him again.

His generosity also came through in the things that he did for me. He was the head chef in the kitchen and made all these weird and wonderful dishes. He noted all of his recipes in a book, which Nicola has to this day.

Some of the recipes were interesting, to say the least, whilst others were a delight. He even made his own Iron Brew. I have a very sweet tooth and so he often made me desserts and other treats.

'Loved football'

Stephen was also incredibly house proud and loved to decorate. His handiwork remains in our home to this day. Stephen was also a meticulous and clean person.

For instance, he always washed and styled his hair before every football match; he had such a thick head of hair. I even recall having to hem his tracksuit bottoms before the match on 15 April, 1989 because they were too long.

I teased him about being so fussy before going to the match, but I imagine that this was because he rarely went to a live game.

Stephen loved football but was always very content watching the match at home with me and the children. I can just picture him sitting with our sons and talking them through the tactics of the game.

Stephen took the boys to football every Sunday without fail. I still have the bags of medals which the boys won with the support of their father.

Stephen was very sporty himself and had a competitive nature about him. He enjoyed playing football, tennis and darts with his brother Gary, who also tragically died at Hillsborough.

He was a keen dancer. We would have dancing competitions with Gary's family on the weekend for a little plastic cup. It was a great laugh.

'My rock'

Stephen was never miserable and had many wonderful qualities. He was a true gentleman who had a kind and caring nature and always saw the good in people.

Stephen was my rock, my soul mate and for our four children he was their world. The day Stephen left our lives our world fell apart, not just as a family but as individuals.

We have struggled to come to terms with the fact that he left for a match and never came back home.

Stephen Francis Harrison and Gary Harrison
Stephen Francis Harrison and Gary Harrison were brothers who both died in the Hillsborough tragedy

It breaks my heart to think that Stephen has missed out on watching all his children grow up and have families of their own. He now has grandchildren that he will never meet, but of which he would be very proud.

Stephen had such a huge impact on our lives. He instilled such wonderful values in our children during his short life which still remain with them to this day.

We often speak of all the happy memories; the times we shared as a family during our holidays. Little did we realise that we had only a short time with him and that we would only be left with our memories.

Stephen was liked by everyone who knew him, always having a laugh and sharing a joke. His smile and laugh were infectious.

Life without Stephen has never and will never be the same.

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This is the full statement to the inquests from his mother, Ann Wright:

Stephen and Gary attended my house on the morning of the match. Both were in a happy, positive mood and I told them to have a good day.

That was the last conversation that I had with them.

Stephen would come to my house regularly on a Saturday morning with the kids and often with Gary. It was a modest house, but a very happy one.

In the weeks after the disaster, I would sit waiting for a knock on the door hoping to see Stephen and Gary. It was struggle for me to come to terms with the fact that this would never happen again.

After Stephen and Gary died, our family Christmases were never the same. With two sons gone, the heart of the family was suddenly missing and those occasions were filled with sadness.

My two boys were good sons and brothers. They can never be replaced and our lives can never and will never be the same without them.

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