Hillsborough inquests: Disaster 'ripped pages from life'

Clockwise from top left: David Birtle, Nicholas Hewitt, Alan McGlone, Andrew Brookes, Paul Brady, Joseph Clark, Stuart Thompson, Andrew Sefton, Carl Hewitt The court heard from the relatives of nine of the victims of the disaster

The Hillsborough disaster "ripped out the pages" of a 23-year-old man's life, his sister has told his inquest.

Andrew Sefton was one of 96 fans who died after a crush at the ground during Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest in 1989.

Julie Fallon said her family "no longer have an inkling what life without Hillsborough looks like".

Statements from the relatives of all 96 victims are being heard at their inquests in Warrington.

Ms Fallon said the Skelmersdale security officer's life had been "like a book".

"There's a title, an introduction, a description of the characters - then someone ripped out the rest of the pages.

"Hillsborough made an incompleteness which continues to be, for my family, the central, longest and most overriding topic of the last 25 years and of our lives.

"We no longer have an inkling what life without Hillsborough looks like and ironically neither does my brother."

Police 'turned their backs'

Louise Brookes, from Bromsgrove in Worcestershire, told the court about her brother Andrew, who was "the apple of my mum's eye" and who had never been in trouble with the police.

"My mum said 'the only time Andrew ever brought the police was when they brought his clothes home in a plastic bag [after his death].

Start Quote

As a family we are owed an explanation sooner rather than later of how and why David died that day”

End Quote Jennifer Birtle Mother of Hillsborough victim David Birtle

"Andrew was brought up to respect the police. When he needed them most, they literally turned their backs on him."

She said after his death "the whole dynamics" of the family changed. Her mother later died of cancer, then "Dad just shut himself away", she said.

"I didn't just lose my brother on 15 April 1989, I lost my parents too. The whole Brookes family died that day."

Earlier, Stephen Clark delivered his mother Jacqueline Gilchrist's tribute to his father, Joseph Clark.

He told the hearing she said life had "never been the same since he died that horrible day".

"Our lives changed and I never really got on with my life. I am still the same to this day," she said in her statement.

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

Mr Clark was one of several relatives who was moved to tears while reading what the families have called "pen portraits".

Amy McGlone also cried as she read her mother Irene's words about her father, Alan McGlone, a Liverpool machine repairer she said had "loved being a dad".

In her statement, Mrs McGlone said her husband had played with his daughters on the street before going to Hillsborough and that the family had been due to go to a party when he returned.

Instead, she said she put her daughters to bed and Amy asked "Mummy, will you tell Daddy to come in and wake us up when he gets home?"

"I am still waiting to wake my girls up out of this nightmare and send their daddy into them," she said.

'World at his feet'

Michael Brady spoke about his brother Paul, a 21-year-old refrigeration engineer from Liverpool who had a "very bubbly and outgoing personality".

He said his brother had been "a people person", who excelled at working with his hands and had loved football, fishing and his job.

"He was fun-loving, the joker in our family, always smiling and a joy to be around," he said.

A statement was read from the recently-deceased father of Stuart Thompson, before his sibling Martin spoke of his "brother and friend" who had "the world at his feet at the time of his death" and was "determined to be a success".

He said that when he died, the 17-year-old "wasn't a child but he wasn't yet an adult. He didn't have time to blossom."

The Leppings Lane End at Hillsborough during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final Teenage brothers Carl and Nicholas Hewitt travelled with a supporters' club to Hillsborough

Speaking about her son David, Jennifer Birtle said he liked music and had been to the Glastonbury festival, but that "once David could run, there was always a football attached to his foot".

"David became an ardent fan of Liverpool Football Club. Sadly that decision was to cost him his life," she said.

Mrs Birtle, who was in Oman when she heard about the disaster.

She said she had "had to listen to two ex-pats reading the paper and saying 'oh, the police say it was hooligans' as if that was OK then, that it was their fault".

She added that her family was "owed an explanation sooner rather than later of how and why David died that day".

The final statement of the day came from the mother of Carl and Nicholas Hewitt, brothers from Leicester who had travelled to Hillsborough on a supporters' club bus.

Brenda Hewitt said her "boys" were "always together [and] together always", who "loved football and were season ticket holders".

The inquests, set to last a year, were ordered after new evidence revealed by the Hillsborough Independent Panel led to the original inquest verdicts being quashed.

The background statements are the first time the court has heard how the disaster affected individual families.

The inquest has been adjourned until Thursday.

More on This Story

Hillsborough Inquests

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Liverpool



Min. Night 14 °C

BBC Local Live

    Vikings change alcohol policy 16:10:

    Widnes Vikings will be trialling a change to the way fans can drink alcohol at the Select Security Stadium during the game against Wigan later, which will see supporters from either club allowed to have a drink in the concourse areas beneath the stands but not in the seats.

    Select Security Stadium

    Vikings CEO James Rule said the change followed complaints about "beer being spilt or thrown during the course of a game".

    "Whilst we are acutely aware that we must not make any knee jerk decision and punish the majority as a result of the actions of the minority, we also believe we must make every attempt to ensure our matchday experience is enjoyable for all," he said.

    News on the hour 15:59: BBC Radio Merseyside

    In the 16:00 bulletin: The leader of the Liverpool Liberal Democrats says the council's chief executive has questions to answer over the Rotherham child abuse scandal.

    A change in the weather 15:43:

    BBC Weather presenter Charlie Slater tweets: Mainly dry this weekend before warming up in the middle of next week...and what a difference a week or two can make!

    August and September temperatures
    Hope goes to Hillsborough 15:24:

    Everton striker Hallam Hope has joined Sheffield Wednesday on a six month loan, according to the club's website.

    Hallam Hope

    The young forward enjoyed spells at Northampton Town and Bury last season and will now have the opportunity to test himself in the Championship.

    Signed Hitler photo to be auctioned 15:10:

    A signed photograph of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler is to go under the hammer in Cheshire next month.

    Adolf Hitler

    The photo, which war correspondent William Forrest recovered from the ruins of the Führerbunker in Berlin after Hitler's death, was taken in 1925, the year after he was sentenced to five years in Landsberg prison for treason.

    Mounted in a silver frame, the photo has an estimate of £12,000 to £18,000 and goes on sale at the Auction Centre in Runcorn on 13 September.

    News on the hour 14:58: Alex Dibble BBC Radio Merseyside

    The Mayor of Liverpool's to hold talks with the chief executive of the City Council, to ask about his time in Rotheram, when children were being sexually abused there.

    Ged Fitzgerald was chief executive of the town between 2001 and 2003, before he moved to Merseyside. Joe Anderson wants clarification about his role, after the news that hundreds of young girls were exploited.

    Listen live to the bulletin on BBC Radio Merseyside.

    Knowsley nominations 14:43:

    Knowsley Council tweets: 1 week left to nominate for our Sports & Cultural Awards. Know someone who has made a difference to peoples lives? ow.ly/A0FfZ

    Flanagan 'close to fitness' 14:27:

    Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan is close to returning to full fitness, the club's website reports.

    Jon Flanagan

    A knee problem has meant the 21-year-old has not figured for the Reds since the pre-season friendly at Preston North End on 19 July.

    It was 48 years ago today... 14:19:

    Today is the anniversary of The Beatles' last ever gig before a paying audience.

    The Beatles at Candlestick Park

    The Fab Four took to the stage for the last time at San Francisco's Candlestick Park in 1966, playing a host of what would become classic songs including Yesterday, Nowhere Man and Paperback Writer.

    Coming full circle, Sir Paul McCartney played the last ever show at the stadium on 14 August, almost 48 years after he last strapped on his guitar there.

    Missing walkers found 14:06:

    A search for two Merseyside walkers missing in the Lake District has ended after the pair made their own way to safety.

    The two men set out from Great Langdale to walk to Scafell Pike on Thursday, but called emergency services several hours later to say they were lost.

    Five mountain rescue teams searched throughout the night and had been joined earlier by police and an RAF helicopter before the men turned up and the search was called off.

    News on the hour 13:59: Alex Dibble BBC Radio Merseyside

    The draw for the group stages of the Europa League was made this lunchtime in Monaco.

    Everton's opponents are Lille, Wolfsburg and Krasnodar of Russia. BBC Radio Merseyside's Everton summariser Ronnie Goodlass says it's a tough draw.

    Listen live to the bulletin on BBC Radio Merseyside.

    Chester to host royal visit 13:50:

    Cheshire West and Chester Council tweets: The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall are to visit an integrated early support centre in Chester buzz.mw/bcu4g_f

    Coming up 13:38: Billy Butler BBC Radio Merseyside

    I'll be chatting to The Byrds frontman and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Roger McGuinn on the show today after 2.30pm.

    Roger McGuinn

    Plus I've got This Day in Music, The Bradshaws and the Gamesroom. Join me from 2pm on BBC Radio Merseyside.

    Drainage works closes slip road 13:29:

    BBC Travel reports there are severe problems on the A5126 in Cheshire.

    The A5126 Weston link, in Runcorn on the exit slip road, has been closed westbound at the A557 Weston Point expressway junction, because of drainage works.

    Coming up 13:21: Annabel Tiffin Presenter, North West Tonight

    Coming up in North West Today, Merseyside Police's boss tells the chief executive of Liverpool City Council and others to "examine their conscience" over the Rotherham abuse scandal.

    A large mountain rescue operation is underway in Cumbria as two men from Merseyside remain stranded since last night.

    And Everton have been drawn in the Europa League's Group H with Germany's Wolfsberg, French team Lille and Russian side FC Krasnodar.

    Watch more on BBC One at 13:30.

    Everton handed tough draw 13:12: BBC Sport

    Everton will face Lille, Wolfsburg and FC Krasnodar in the Europa League groups stages for their first European campaign since 2009-10.

    Major search for missing walkers 13:03:

    Two walkers thought to be from Merseyside have gone missing in the Lake District, sparking a major search operation.

    News on the hour 12:55: BBC Radio Merseyside

    In the 13:00 bulletin: Liverpool's Jordan Ibe has moved to Derby County.

    Road closures around M56 12:39:

    Halton Council tweets: There will be Highway Agency road closures around the M56 J11 for up to four months starting Sept 1 bit.ly/1AZO5Ur

    One theatre, two Guvnors 12:24:

    The National Theatre's award-winning comedy One Man, Two Guvnors will be in Liverpool from Monday.

    One Man, Two Guvnors

    The show at the Empire Theatre tells the story of Francis Henshall, who has to keep his two bosses apart - he does not realise they are actually a couple, as one is disguised as her dead brother and the other is the man that killed him.

    The production features ex-EastEnders star Shaun Williamson, Emma Barton and Jasmyn Banks and runs until next Saturday.

    Mayor to quiz chief exec over report 12:12:

    Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson says he will "seek clarification" from council chief executive Ged Fitzgerald about what he knew about a Home Office report into abuse in Rotherham when he was in charge of that town's council.

    Ged Fitzgerald was in charge of Rotherham Council between 2001 and 2003. A report by Prof Alexis Jay found 1,400 children were sexually exploited in the town between 1997 and 2013.

    Mr Anderson said: "I am concerned the Jay Report criticises Rotherham Council for not taking the earlier Heal Report - often referred to as the Home Office Report - seriously, and will discuss these matters with Mr Fitzgerald as soon as possible, seeking clarification as to whether he was aware of the report."

    News on the hour 11:59: Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    The Mayor of Liverpool's revealed he wants clarification about the role of the current chief executive of the city council during his time in Rotherham, after the child abuse scandal in the town.

    A probable 1,400 children were sexually exploited in the town between 1997 and 2013. Ged Fitzgerald was chief executive of the local council between 2001 and 2003.

    Listen live to the bulletin on BBC Radio Merseyside.

    Questions over chief executive 11:53: Phil Cooper Reporter, BBC Radio Merseyside

    More questions are being raised about Ged Fitzgerald's position as chief executive of Liverpool City Council.

    Ged Fitzgerald

    Mr Fitzgerald (pictured) was in charge of Rotherham Council between 2001 and 2003. A report found 1,400 children were sexually exploited in the town between 1997 and 2013.

    The leader of Liverpool's Lib Dems, Richard Kemp, has written to Mayor Joe Anderson asking if there are implications for the way information is viewed and used by senior staff within the council here.

    Fitzgerald 'must examine conscience' 11:44: Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    Merseyside's police and crime commissioner says the chief executive of Liverpool Council, and other officials, should "examine their consciences" over their roles in the child abuse scandal in Rotherham.

    Ged Fitzgerald was boss of the authority between 2001 and 2003 and has claimed he had no recollection of abuse "being a major issue" - despite a Home Office report at the time saying young women and girls were being targeted.

    PCC Jane Kennedy says anyone who knew about the abuse had a moral or professional obligation to act.

    Police 'reaching tipping point' 11:35:

    Merseyside's police and crime commissioner has warned of the impact government cutbacks will have on policing if they continue.

    Jane Kennedy

    Jane Kennedy said police were "fast approaching a tipping point [and] if the coalition government's reckless programme of cuts continue, Merseyside Police simply will not be able to deliver the same excellent level of service that people expect and deserve".

    "I fear that by 2018, Merseyside Police will have been forced to cut their workforce by 40% - a massive reduction in the strength and numbers of our police service," she said.

    Recall over gas cylinder danger 11:20:

    Butane gas cylinders bought from Bootle's Budget Bottle Gas have been recalled due to potentially serious health and safety issues, a gas supplier has said.

    Flogas Britain has requested the voluntary recall after it found evidence cylinders from the company may have been filled with propane, instead of butane.

    A spokesman said the "improperly tampered with" cylinders should not be used because of potential carbon monoxide poisoning and customers should contact Flogas for free replacements.

    Wolves drop point in last-gasp draw 11:08: BBC Sport

    Danny Brough's late drop-goal rescued a point for Huddersfield in a thrilling Super League game against Warrington.

    Danny Brough

    It was a fitting end to an entertaining match, although both teams will feel they could have claimed the win that would have lifted them to second in the table.

    News on the hour 10:59: Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    Police want to track down a group of six or seven young people after a man was shot in Skelmersdale a week ago.

    The 22-year-old was surrounded by the masked gang after leaving the Tanner pub, in Elmridge Road. Detectives don't believe it was a random attack.

    Listen live to the bulletin on BBC Radio Merseyside.

    Have your say 10:40: Chris Long BBC News

    We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you news, sport, travel and weather updates in one place. We'd like to find out what you think.

    Burglary suspect image released 10:25:

    Police in Southport have released a CCTV image of a man they want to speak to about a burglary in the town.

    CCTV image of burglary suspect

    The owner of a house in Upper Aughton Road woke on the morning of 9 August to find the front door open and a number of electrical items missing.

    Anyone who recognises the man is asked to contact police.

    Ronaldo expects 'tough' reception 10:10:

    Cristiano Ronaldo says he expects a "tough" reception at Anfield after his Real Madrid side were drawn with Liverpool in the Champions League group stage.

    Cristiano Ronaldo

    Ronaldo, the newly crowned Best Player in Europe, said it was a "very, very difficult stadium", but it would "be nice" to play there.

    News on the hour 09:59: Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    Everton will find out who they play in the group stages of the Europa League at lunchtime when the draw takes place in Monaco.

    The Blues are the highest ranked side in pot three.

    Listen live to the 10:00 bulletin on BBC Radio Merseyside.

    Budding teacher jailed over drugs 09:40: Liverpool Echo

    A university-educated drug dealer who had hoped to become a teacher was jailed after being caught with a large amount of high purity cocaine.

    Man sought over bus snatch attempt 09:26:

    A passenger who tried to take a two-year-old from her mother on a bus in Liverpool is being sought by police.

    The man, described as aged about 60, of average height and medium build, approached the girl as the bus came to the Asda stop in Smithdown Road.

    He grabbed her arm and told her to come with him. The girl's mother pulled her back and the man got off the bus. Police have asked anyone who saw the incident to get in touch.

    Clarke to join Vikings staff 09:08: BBC Sport

    Widnes Vikings captain Jon Clarke will become the Super League club's head of strength and conditioning when he retires at the end of the season.

    Jon Clarke

    Clarke will play his final home game for Widnes against Wigan later.

    News on the hour 08:59: Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    A woman's been taken to hospital after she was rescued from a fire at her Wirral flat overnight.

    Crews arrived at Bebington Road in Bromborough just after 9pm and it took two hours to put the flames out.

    Listen live to the bulletin on BBC Radio Merseyside.

    Reds 'can progress from group' 08:39: Phil Kinsella BBC Merseyside Sport

    Former Liverpool midfielder Terry McDermott is confident the Reds will qualify from the Champions League group stages, despite being drawn in a group with holders Real Madrid.

    The Reds are in Group B, which also includes Swiss side Basel and Bulgarian champions Ludogorets.

    McDermott, who won three European Cups with Liverpool, says it will be a shock if they don't progress.

    Mix of rain and showers 08:28:

    BBC Weather reports it will be windy today with a mixture of rain and showers, heavy at times, especially over higher ground in the west with hill fog.

    Liverpool forecast

    The high temperature will be 17°C, though it will feel cool in the wind and rain.

    Roadworks, roadworks, roadworks 08:15:

    BBC Travel reports that roadworks around Merseyside and Cheshire are causing issues this morning.

    They are causing slow traffic on Liverpool Road in Birkdale and Upper Aughton Road in Southport, on the A50 and the A56 in Warrington, on the A5208 in Kirkby and on the A5267 in Southport.

    News on the hour 08:03: Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    In the 08:00 news bulletin: A woman's been taken to hospital after she was rescued from a fire at her Wirral flat overnight.

    Crews arrived at Bebington Road in Bromborough just after 9pm and it took two hours to put the flames out.

    That Friday feeling 08:00: Chris Long BBC News

    Good morning, I'm here bringing you Merseyside's news, sport, weather and travel for Friday.

    If you've got something to share, be it a story, a comment or a picture, feel free to send it over via email, Facebook or Twitter.



  • Nigel Farage (left) and Douglas CarswellWho's next?

    The Tory MPs being tipped to follow Carswell to UKIP

  • A painting of the White House on fire by Tom FreemanFinders keepers

    The odd objects looted by the British from Washington in 1814

  • Chris and Regina Catrambone with their daughter Maria LuisaSOS

    The millionaires who rescue people at sea

  • Plane7 days quiz

    What unusual offence got a Frenchman thrown off a plane?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.