Funeral for Hillsborough justice campaigner Anne Williams

Anne Williams
Image caption Anne Williams died shortly after a Hillsborough memorial service

A funeral service has been held for Hillsborough justice campaigner Anne Williams.

Mrs Williams, 60, whose 15-year-old son Kevin died in the 1989 football tragedy, was diagnosed with cancer in October and died earlier this month.

Hundreds of people, many wearing Liverpool scarves, gathered outside the city's Our Lady of Compassion Church.

Mrs Williams' brother, Danny Gordon, said: "She touched so many hearts throughout the world."

He said: "It's difficult to find anything to say about Anne that hasn't been said in hundreds of tributes to her.

"Anne has taken many knocks and setbacks throughout her life and always found the strength to get through them without becoming bitter.

"She'll always be loved and deeply missed by us all. We'll never walk alone. She'll always be with us."

The coffin, topped with red and white flowers, arrived at the church as people stood in silence.

Following the ceremony, the cortege departed for Southport crematorium.

Among those attending the service were Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram, who was a fan at Hillsborough on the day of the tragedy, and Andy Burnham, MP for Leigh.

'Fantastic woman'

Liverpool FC was represented by first team manager Brendan Rogers and managing director Ian Ayre.

Kenny Dalglish, who was manager of Liverpool FC on the day of the disaster, tweeted to say: "Thoughts are with the Williams family today. A fantastic woman that made her family hugely proud of all she has done fighting for justice."

Ronald Helsby, from Wigan, said he had to travel to Formby because Mrs Williams was a "Liverpool saint".

Residents responded to a call to line the route of the funeral cortege in tribute to Mrs Williams.

Mrs Williams fought for 24 years to get an inquest verdict of accidental death for her son overturned.

Last year's publication of the The Hillsborough Independent Panel's report, which found fans were not to blame for the crush that killed 96 people, led to the original verdict being quashed and new inquests ordered.

Last appearance

Image caption Hundreds of people gathered outside Our Lady of Compassion Church

Criminal and Independent Police Complaints Commission investigations are also ongoing after the panel found official statements were altered.

Mrs Williams made her last public appearance at the annual Hillsborough memorial service at Liverpool's Anfield stadium on 15 April, and died days later.

She has been described as "a woman of remarkable courage and determination" by Bishop James Jones, who chaired the panel.

Some 95 fans were crushed to death on 15 April 1989 before the Liverpool v Nottingham Forest FA Cup semi-final at the Hillsborough football stadium in Sheffield.

Another fan, Tony Bland, who was left in a coma, died in 1993 after the Law Lords ruled that doctors could stop tube-feeding him.

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