Trending Topics

      Next match: LFC v Madrid [Champions League] Wed 14th Apr @ 8:00 pm
      Anfield

      Today is the 14th of April and on this date LFC's match record is P36 W15 D11 L10

      Letters from the Heart

      Read 1769 times
      0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
      LFCBAFC
      • Forum Legend - Fagan
      • *****
      • Started Topic

      • 3,539 posts | 30 
      • Scousers rule the country!
      Letters from the Heart
      Apr 14, 2010 10:13:46 pm


      ------------------------
      A letter to Philip Steele, who died aged 15 at Hillsborough, written by his mother

      We watched you walk away on that lovely sunny day, not a care in the world, chatting happily with your brother. So excited because you had tickets to watch your beloved LFC in the semi-final.

      A wave of your hand, a smile and you were gone. How could we have known that would be your last smile to us?

      You brought so much sunshine into our lives and if I close my eyes and sit quietly, I can still see your lovely smile and hear your laughter.

      In our hearts every minute of every day.

      Rest in peace and God bless, precious son.

      Your very proud mum, Dolores

      A poem written about Paul Murray, who died aged 14 at Hillsborough, written by his mother on October 15, 1989

      No more shoes kicked off by thye wall,

      Where's the untidy bathroom and fingermarks in the hall?

      No school bag, empty homework pages spilling out

      Why all this silence, I just want to shout

      That cheerful smile and loving nature

      His caring attitude to every living creature

      Those jokes and impressions of which there's no doubt

      He'd never have been famous while those were about

      I think I'll be a policeman, do you need 'A' levels for that?

      Or a mechanic, when I own a Porsche, it'll be handy, will that

      I'll come in a minute, just watching TV

      Then I'll write to Kenny, maybe he'll see me

      A goalie like Brucie or a striker like Rush

      He's play in a street until a neighbour made a fuss

      Mum, dad, there's a letter, I've got that autograph,

      No, not the manager, he's too busy, don't be daft

      One day, I'll be famous, you wait and see

      How many times had he said that to me?

      Now in our town he has his wish

      And we've got a letter signed Kenny Dalglish

      No, I'm not angry, the summons came from above

      He obviously need to get some of that love

      They were all so devoted, to win was their dream

      Now they're all playing in God's famous team.

      Edna C Murray (Mother)

      15.9.1989
      ---------------

      A letter about Carl Rimmer, who died aged 21 at Hillsborough, written by his parents

      Just 21 years old, Carl had just celebrated his 21st birthday. He was a very loving son and very caring, with a fantastic smile. He had a lot of dreams for the future, including his girlfriend. He is very much missed. He left a very big hole in our hearts.

      Mum and Dad

      -------------------

      A letter about Paul Carlisle, who died aged 19 at Hillsborough

      My beloved son Paul Carlisle was aged 19 when he was killed at the Hillsborough Disaster.

      Thank you so much for showing a photograph of my son Paul and all the victims of Hillsborough. As they are all known as the 96 victims, when people see a face to each victim they will be known as human beings, loved and missed more than words could ever say.

      My beautiful son Paul went out that morning so happy and never came back to me and his family. Our lives have been devastated since that day.

      You never expect your child to go to a football match, never to come home and come home in his coffin. We then had to endure all these lies and cover-up

      Please forgive me for going on but I need to let people know just what this has done to the families. Once again, thank you for showing a photo of my son Paul.

      A letter about Roy Hamilton, who died aged 34 at Hillsborough, written by his wife

      On that fateful day, mine and my children's world fell apart. 2o years on and not a day goes by when I don't think of him.

      Although we will not be in Liverpool today, thoughts of all the other families are never far away, but I like to remember Roy in my own way as although he was one of 96, he was our number one only.

      Wendy Hamilton (Wife)

      A poem for James Aspinall, who died aged 18 at Hillsborough, written by his parents

      The last time I saw you walk out the door,

      Who would have thought I’d see you no more.

      Your smiling face full of joy

      Laughing and joking my wonderful boy.

      Who would have thought a football game could end up with so much Heartache, tears and pain.

      Twenty years have now gone by

      Still no answer (I wonder why?)

      So many lives, so much pain

      Just to watch a football game.

      Surely now someone will say

      I know the truth of that terrible day.

      The grief and the loss

      As James mum, were made much worse by that tabloid.

      The lies they printed clouded my vision

      Of the boy that God had given

      My son, my life, my love.

      In the words of Chris De Burgh, your favourite singer,

      ‘There is an answer, one day we will know, and we will ask them why they had to go’

      Broken hearts can never mend

      But one by one we will meet again.

      The Earth has lost

      Heaven gained

      My wonderful son

      His name is James.

      Love and miss you so much, your broken hearted Mum and Dad.

      A letter to Nicholas Joynes, who died aged 27 at Hillsborough, written by his family

      Dearest Nick,

      It is 20 long years without seeing your smiling face. We should have been a happy family all of us together.

      With you and Mark (your brother who was killed in South Africa) I hope you are both together. We think about you both every single day, in our prayers, you are always in our hearts.

      You have new family members now, Jessica, Sean and baby Emily. You remember Ian and Laura and your loving brother Paul, Sister Michelle.

      We have very cherished memories of you both; we look for you in rainbows. Our loving arms will hold you when we meet again.

      Thinking of that day at Hillsborough, I hope the South Yorkshire Police hang their heads in shame about what happened that dreadful day.

      Your loving Mum, Dad, Paul, Michelle and family

      A letter about Eric Hughes, who died aged 42 at Hillsborough, written by his wife

      NEEDS PHOTO

      My husband Eric George Hughes is on the right in this photo. The photo is of happier times with his friends who were with him at Hillsborough. They returned home without him and life has never been the same.

      I lost the love of my life and they lost a good friend. I will always miss him.

      Yours sincerely

      Pat Hughes (Mrs)

      A message about Stephen Paul Copoc, who died aged 20 at Hillsborough, from his mother

      In remembrance of a kind and caring son who is loved and remembered always.

      Thanks you so much for doing these tributes for all of the 96 victims on the 20th anniversary.

      Agnes Copoc c/o Pat Payne

      A letter about Derrick George Godwin, who died aged 24 at Hillsborough, written by his parents

      Derrick was a season ticket holder on the Kop and managed to get a ticket for the semi-final against Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough.

      Although we live 170 miles from Liverpool, he travelled via Cheltenham - Birmingham - Liverpool by train to go to get his ticket.

      He worked for Allied Dunbar at the time, an insurance company in Swindon, and as he often had contact with the Liverpool branch of AD, he decided to call into their offices to see some of the staff he had got to know by phone.

      He was absolutely thrilled to be introduced to Chris Lawler, a former Liverpool player, who also worked there and that really made his day!

      He was a quiet person by nature, very well mannered and liked by everyone. His only outlet from work was LFC. He couldn't wait for the weekends to come and would travel anywhere to watch his team play.

      Since the Hillsborough disaster, we have met up with a lovely family from West Derby, who have become our best friends. We often visit each other and they love to get down here in the country, so we feel that something good has come out of something bad and their friendship has certainly helped us as a family over the years.

      Derrick had one sister, Valerie, and she and her husband regularly go to Liverpool to watch matches, so they are carrying on the tradition for him.

      Yours sincerely,

      Margaret and Stan Godwin (Derrick's Parents)

      A letter to Peter McDonnell, who died at Hillsborough aged 21, written by his niece

      Hey Pete,

      How are you? Feels like forever since we last saw each other, but only a day since we lost you. You won't believe how much we miss you, a day doesn't go by where we don't think of you still! Not only that but you have missed so much too.

      I hope you are with Patsy so you can say 'hello' to her from us and tell her we miss her too.

      Did you know that you have four nephews now and that you're a great uncle?

      There is so much I want to say, but not enough sheets of paper in the world to say it. What I will say is thank you for standing behind the goal and helping us win 4-1 against Man U! I'm sure you had something to do with it and also Istanbul!

      I'm supposed to tell you what has been happening over the past 20 years. Well, last year, Graham asked me to marry him... and I said yes! We have just moved into a new apartment and hope to get married sometime in the near future.

      Considering all they have been through, Nan and Granddad (Mother and Father to Peter) are still keeping well - I know they are okay as they're still winding each other up!

      In 1994, Mum (Peter's sister Evelyn) and Terry got married in July and Patsy (Peter's sister) and Raymond got married in October. Mum and Terry are doing well, but Patsy passed away in August 2003. Hopefully you are together and smiling down on us.

      Gerry (Peter's brother) is the same as ever apart from the fact that he is a Grandad now to baby James.

      Let me tell you a little about the other nephews you have never met -

      Terence is 18 and at art college. Raymond is 18 and is a chef. Peter is 15, he's still at school and deciding what he wants to do, but he loves computers. James is 12, he's also still at school and deciding what he wants to do when he grows up. He's a budding Alan Titchmarsh and often helps Mum on her allotment.

      You'll remember your nieces Catherine, Hayley, Rachel and Lindsey. They are all doing well and growing into lovely young women.

      Just to bring you up to date, Rafa has signed a new 5 year contract. Here's hoping we win the league!

      I miss you loads Peewack. Till we meet again.

      Love Gemma (Niece)

      A letter to Arthur Horrocks, who died aged 41 at Hillsborough, written by his nephew

      Arthur, I can't believe it is 20 years since you were taken from us. It seems like only yesterday that you were telling me not to worry, 'We will be out in a minute!' If only! One minute you were standing next to me keeping us calm, the next you were gone. The only good memory I have of that day was the journey up to Sheffield. Me driving the transit van down the Ford road with the rest of you bouncing around in the back (sitting on plastic chairs) because of the bumps in the road. We all laughed. I am sorry I won't be at Anfield for your rememberence service, but I will be remembering you in my own way.

      x

      Six went to watch a game of football, five lucky people came back!

      Keith Golding

      A letter about Carl Lewis, who died aged 18 at Hillsborough, written by his parents

      Carl has two brothers who went to Hillsborough with him. He also has a daughter, Chantelle, who was 11 months old at the time.

      As long as we live, we will never forget that day.

      Love and miss you loads Carl. Always and forever.

      Mum & Dad

      A letter about Paul Clark, who died aged 18 at Hillsborough, written by his parents

      Paul was 18-years-old and lived with his Mum, Dad and sister Tracey in Swanwick, Derbyshire.

      He was an apprentice electrician. He had many interests including playing football, fishing, golf and he was an LFC season ticket holder. Paul had a great sense of humour, always smiling. He was very popular and loved spending time with his mates.

      Yours sincerely,

      Ken & Sue Clark (Parents)

      A poem about Ian Whelan, who died aged 19 at Hillsborough, submitted by his mother

      Ian,

      20 years have passed, it seems like no time at all

      Little things remind us all of how things should have been

      You should still be here, smiling and laughing

      The fact that you're not makes our hearts ache

      I could relay all the memories I hold inside of me

      But that would take forever

      We all have special times we remember

      And those thoughts can never be taken away

      Life goes on for those left behind, we try not to be bitter

      We try to understand, if you were meant to come home that day

      Nothing on this earth would have stopped you

      You would have found a way

      You had so much of your life left to live

      You had so much of love still left to give

      So many people miss you, family and friends

      I will always wonder, how things might have been

      As I sit here writing this, my feelings are still strong

      I still hurt but I also smile, I was blessed

      You touched my life, you touched my heart

      For that I will be eternally grateful

      Joanne

      This poem is dedicated to Ian David Whelan. It was written by Joanne, who was Ian's girlfriend at the time of the disaster. Joanne has gone on to marry and have two children, but has always kept in touch with us, which we appreciate.

      Yours faithfully,

      Mrs Doris Whelan

      A poem for Stephen O'Neill, who died aged 17 at Hillsborough, written by his family

      Life holds many blessings, our Lord bestows them all, to have had you Stephen for a son was the greatest blessing of all.

      We watched you as a child and wondered what the future would hold, little did we know that morning God was going to call your name.

      In life we loved you dearly, in death we do the same.

      It broke our hearts to lose you, but you did not go alone.

      For part of us went with you, the day God called you home.

      You left us happy memories, your love is still our guide.

      And though we cannot see you, you are always by our side.

      Our family loves you dearly, what more words can we say?

      One day we will be with you on that great and beautiful day.

      Our memory of your happy, smiling face will never fade, we loved and lost you, you can never be replaced.

      All our love, hugs and kisses are sent to heaven above.

      God bless you Stephen, we just send you all our love.

      Mum, Dad, sister Lisa, Lee, Millie and Connor and all your loving family

      Earlier this year, Liverpoolfc.tv contacted some of those relatives and friends of the fans whose lives were tragically cut short to ask if they'd like to write a few words to their loved ones on the 20th anniversary of the disaster.

      The response was truly humbling. Within days of our initial request, the letters started arriving. Some were handwritten, others typed. Some took up pages; some were nothing more than a few lines. Some were poetic, some were angry but all of them appear here unedited, just as they arrived.

      A poem about Ian Whelan, who died aged 19 at Hillsborough, submitted by his mother



      Ian,

      20 years have passed, it seems like no time at all

      Little things remind us all of how things should have been

      You should still be here, smiling and laughing

      The fact that you're not makes our hearts ache

      I could relay all the memories I hold inside of me

      But that would take forever

      We all have special times we remember

      And those thoughts can never be taken away

      Life goes on for those left behind, we try not to be bitter

      We try to understand, if you were meant to come home that day

      Nothing on this earth would have stopped you

      You would have found a way

      You had so much of your life left to live

      You had so much of love still left to give

      So many people miss you, family and friends

      I will always wonder, how things might have been

      As I sit here writing this, my feelings are still strong

      I still hurt but I also smile, I was blessed

      You touched my life, you touched my heart

      For that I will be eternally grateful

      Joanne

      The above poem is dedicated to Ian David Whelan. It was written by Joanne, who was Ian's girlfriend at the time of the disaster. Joanne has gone on to marry and have two children, but has always kept in touch with us, which we appreciate.

      Yours faithfully,

      Mrs Doris Whelan (Mum)

      A letter about Gary Church, who died aged 19 at Hillsborough, written by his sister



      Gary lived at home with mum & dad and younger sister Tracey. Gary was one of four children, being the second to youngest - Karen, David, Gary and Tracey.

      Gary was a season ticket holder and was training to be a joiner. Gary loved his family, especially his niece and nephews - Claire and her twin Christopher (6 years old) and Stephen (3 years old).

      Love Karen

      A poem for Stephen O'Neill, who died aged 17 at Hillsborough, written by his family



      Life holds many blessings, our Lord bestows them all, to have had you Stephen for a son was the greatest blessing of all.

      We watched you as a child and wondered what the future would hold, little did we know that morning God was going to call your name.

      In life we loved you dearly, in death we do the same.

      It broke our hearts to lose you, but you did not go alone.

      For part of us went with you, the day God called you home.

      You left us happy memories, your love is still our guide.

      And though we cannot see you, you are always by our side.

      Our family loves you dearly, what more words can we say?

      One day we will be with you on that great and beautiful day.

      Our memory of your happy, smiling face will never fade, we loved and lost you, you can never be replaced.

      All our love, hugs and kisses are sent to heaven above.

      God bless you Stephen, we just send you all our love.

      Mum, Dad, sister Lisa, Lee, Millie and Connor and all your loving family

      A letter to Graham John Roberts, who died aged 24 at Hillsborough, written by his family



      Dear Graham,

      20 years ago you had the world at your feet. Fabulous job with the Gas Board, you were greatly admired for your fairness and honesty. You had a wonderful fiancée and future in-laws who had already become close friends of yours. Your favourite pastime was following Liverpool, going to both home and away games.

      When you left home that morning none of us would have ever believed the future horrors we had in store for us. 15th April 1989 was the longest night of our lives, which then turned into a harsh new nightmare reality. When we saw you in the chapel of rest we were horrified at the cuts and bruising on your hands, knuckles and fingers. To this day we believe that you were one of the unlucky supporters battened down by police truncheons when trying to climb over the fencing on to the pitch.

      As you were not certified dead until after the coroner's 'cut off' time, we never found out what happened to you. The report we were sent, thankfully bore no resemblance to you. We say thankfully, because that report would still be giving us nightmares now if we thought that it was a true recollection of your last moments on earth.

      The many horrific stories, lies and cover-ups that we have heard of over they years still cause us pain and upset, as do the numerous times the legal system has let us down, but we’ve tried over the years to look for positive aspects. We're very grateful to Trevor Hicks, Phil Hammond, Joan Traynor, Margaret Apsinall and the rest of the Hillsborough Family Support Group for their dignity, thoughtful and caring leadership, as well as their friendship and support over the past 20 years. We're also extremely grateful to our many supporters including Phil Scraton, Brian Reade, Rogan Taylor, Jimmy McGovern and Lee Roy James to name but a few, for their efforts in gathering information and helping get the true series of events into the public arena.

      You cannot believe how much pain it causes us to hear how many people still believe it was the Liverpool supporters who were to blame. Maybe now, some of those truncheon weilding police officers, perhaps now retired, would like to step forward and allow the truth to begin to unfold by explaining what lead them to take the action they took, why they could not see what was happening was not fans causing a disturbance, but instead fighting for their lives?

      We're sorry you were never able to experience the joys of marriage but are pleased that your friends still keep in touch with us from time to time. It is great to see what loving families they all have, and all with special memories to retell when they visit. Stories of the good times you all had together, stories to make us laugh, stories to make us proud and stories of their own families and events that matter to them that they wish to share with us.

      We can't believe 20 years have passed.

      RIP Graham, all our love mum Daphne, dad Stan (who helped write this but was reunited with you on 3 March 2009) and sister Sue.

      A letter to the family of Graham John Roberts, who died aged 24 at Hillsborough

      Where do I begin? I feel quite weird actually e-mailing this but I know that if I sat down and wrote this by hand it would never get done as I have put this off so many times, most recently since this opportunity arose through LFC.TV and over the past 20 years.

      I, like Graham, was 24 on that day in 1989 but I didn't go to the match. Up until that point I had never lost anyone and the disaster really affected me but I was lucky enough not to know anyone who died at Hillsborough but I know lads who survived it who are wracked with guilt that they survived.

      So what do I say to you? It's 20 years on, the world has changed. I've changed, Liverpool has changed, football has changed, you've changed. 20 years on I am now married with children and over those 20 years have lost my dad, a work colleague and a good friend but every time I see Graham's name at the Memorial or on the website I feel as sad about him as I do about any of the people that I have lost.

      I do hope that you have moved on but that's your decision and yours alone. No one can tell you what to do as they have not gone through what you have gone through.

      The reason you are in my thoughts and indeed Graham is simply I share the same name. It could have been me. Several people thought it was me in the days shortly after the disaster as they knew me as Graham Roberts from Liverpool. They didn't know where about I lived on Merseyside. So come Wednesday, I am off work and will be thinking of you all with my wife and kids.

      Kind Regards

      Graham Joseph Roberts

      A short note about Peter Harrison, who died aged 15 at Hillsborough, written by his mum



      Peter was a lovely son, brother, grandson, nephew and cousin to a very large and loving family. Peter was 15 when the tragedy happened, he would have been 16 two weeks after on May 4th. We miss him so much.

      Yours faithfully, Pat Harrison

      A poem about Peter Harrison, who died aged 15 at Hillsborough, written by his cousin

      20 years of sadness

      Liverpool hushed in silence

      At exactly 6 minutes past 3

      Watching the horrific story

      Staring in disbelief

      Minutes ticking slowly

      Like the beating of my heart

      Not realising that you would play

      Such an important part

      Coz that morning started as normal

      I remember it like yesterday

      Breakfast ate as usual

      As we sent you on your way

      Fathers, brothers and sisters

      Sons, daughters and friends

      Started that day so happily

      Not knowing how it would end

      And it's been 20 years of sorrow

      And 20 years of pain

      20 years of missing you

      And wanting you back again

      20 years of misjustice

      And of nobody taking the blame

      Nobody saying I'm sorry

      Just adding to all of our pain

      But then the world just stopped

      Well it stopped for me

      On the 15th of April

      At exactly 6 minutes past 3

      Crying, hoping, praying

      That you were the lucky one

      But knowing deep inside my heart

      That you had really gone

      And in my dark dark sadness

      I remember a ringing phone

      Saying that they had found you

      But I just wanted you home

      Hoe long had you lay there

      How could this happen to you

      How could such a normal day

      Break my heart in two

      And it's been 20 years of sorrow

      And 20 years of pain

      20 years of missing you

      And wanting you back again

      20 years of misjustice

      And of nobody taking the blame

      Nobody saying I'm sorry

      Just adding to all of our pain

      The days that followed were a nightmare

      Watching the story unfold

      All the slander in the paper

      All the stories that they sold

      But one thing that never faltered

      Was the spirit in our heart

      Because Liverpool stood together

      They could not tear us apart

      We held on to each other

      Joined by the tragedy

      Everyone was affected

      Every single family

      It was just such a normal day

      A normal football game

      But 96 football fans

      Never came home again

      Jan Patrice Owens (Cousin)

      A few words about Dave Hawley, who died aged 39 at Hillsborough, written by his wife



      Dave was a loving husband and father. 'Simply the Best.'

      Mrs Ann Hawley

      A short letter to Philip Hammond, who died aged 14 at Hillsborough, written by his family



      Dearest Philip,

      We miss you so much.

      Time endears and cannot fade

      The memories so much love has made

      We will hold you close in our hearts

      Until that precious day when we can hold you in our arms

      Lots of love

      Mum, Dad and Graeme

      XXX

      A poem about Steven Robinson, who died aged 17 at Hillsborough, written by sister Claire



      Our Ste

      April 15th 1989,

      I was only twelve, just a kid at the time.

      Twenty years it has gone by so fast

      Time seems so short, when you look back to the past.

      But everyone knows where they were on that day,

      The day Liverpool stood still while time ticked away.

      Red and blue united in grief,

      Nobody spoke, just stared in disbelief.

      The game we all love, forever changed on that day,

      The day Liverpool stood still while time ticked away.

      Now staring at the memorial, wishing I could erase his name,

      'Steven Robinson, 17 years' remains there all the same.

      But as Liverpool stands still at six minutes past three,

      We'll remember them all but especially 'Our Ste'

      Claire (Sister)

      A letter to Brian Matthews, who died aged 38 at Hillsborough, written by his younger sister



      Dear Brian,

      Where do I start?

      It's been 20 years now since we were robbed of your lovely smiley face.

      Sometimes it feels like a lifetime, yet, sometimes it feels like only yesterday.

      The pain is still as raw as that terrible day. In fact, it's worse, if that's at all possible! I miss you more and more each and every day.

      There have been so many obstacles in my adult life that I have had to overcome. I am still climbing the enormous mountain for some of them and I think to myself, 'If only Our Brian was here, he'd be able to help me, he'd have the answers' because you were one of those people who would have a solution to a problem, no matter what it was. And you were one of the very few people who had time to listen to others and take time out of your busy schedule to help. That is just one of your many qualities.

      Don't get me wrong. You had some faults as well! For instance you could be cutting with remarks you made, but you would say it was 'constructive criticism'! We think you're like Simon Cowell in that respect! But God, what I'd give to hear one of your remarks now!

      You'd probably be happy that I'm working in a school Bri, as you always knew I would. But I know what you'd say, 'Why are you only a teaching assistant? Why aren't you fulfilling your true potential? But obstacles were put in my way as I was telling you earlier so it's all down to 'if only'. Nevertheless, I am quite happy doing what I'm doing so you'd be pleased that my brain's still being stimulated!

      You used to always say how clever Clarke, your Godson was as a baby. I always imagined him going for weekends at your house and him sitting in the study next to you doing his homework. But that was not to be.

      He's now a C.I with the RAF cadets so he's living his dream of flying aeroplanes.

      Every year as Comic Relief comes around it makes me think of you and Our Clarke. It was the Saturday before that horrible day and it was our turn to host the Chinese banquet, the alternate 'meal in' that we had started with you and Margie. You felt sorry for us 'cos we didnt get out!

      Anyway, you, Paul and Clarke went to get the food and it was the year the red noses (or "nosers" as Clarke thought) for the cars came out. You were tickled at Clarke shouting out "NOSER" and pointing every time a car passed sporting a red nose. He was only two at the time though!

      The following week on the coach up to Hillsborough you decided to play the "Noser spotting game" and you soon had Will, John and Pam joining in. We still play that game 20 years on!

      You didn't get to meet Lauren and subsequently Deanna but they talk about 'Their Brian' as if they grew up with you. Well, I suppose they have in a way. Lauren was the first baby girl born into the family since me. Jimmy Mullaney announced to a packed Legion on New Years Eve 1990, 'Dora and Albert's baby girl has just had a baby girl!' Everyone was made up for me Mam and Dad. A bit of good news for a change in the continuous days of darkness with whitewash after whitewash by the establishment.

      Well, Lauren's 18 now. She seems to be emerging as the dark horse of the family. Without being competitive and just plodding, she's passed all her exams and has earned a conditional university place. She would like to be a teacher. It was weird because as she was taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh award she had to camp out in a field and we were gob smacked when she discovered it was in Clitheroe! Out of all the fields in Britain!

      You'd chuckle at her though Bri, we call her Private Benjamin. She is truly a dizzy blonde. After she pitched her tent she went to cook her meal and she had no matches, so, she bartered with the people next door and guess what she swapped? Her paraffin canister!!! You have to laugh!

      She passed her driving test just before Christmas aged 17 but Clarke wasn't impressed as it was her 2nd attempt and he passed first time, just like his mum!!!

      Deanna is 15 now. She's already started and passed some of her GCSEs.

      You'd be really proud of her. She definitely takes after you! She looked very like you when she was born (she's got a dimple!) and she's definitely inherited your logical brains, especially in the math's and physics department.

      She's on target to get A* and A in all her subjects. Deanna wants to be a lawyer, preferably a prosecution barrister but we'll see. I think she has been driven by growing up experiencing so much injustice. She wants to be able to make a difference by righting the wrongs.

      She also took after you in that she was an altar server. That's one of the things that have changed since you've been gone Bri, we have altar girls as well as boys. You were 'the chosen one' for years as the only altar boy in our church St Mary's.

      I remember when you were at school Brian in 6th form of SFX in Salisbury Street. We lived in Highfield Gardens tenements then. There was me Mam and Dad, you, Brenda, Dianne, Christo and little me, the baby.

      We only had three bedrooms but you had your own all to yourself which was also your study. I used to sit alongside you whilst you did your homework at the big dressing table and you would give me work to do. I was only four years old at the time, you would have been 17. I remember your alarm clock. It was one of those brass ones with two bells on the side and the numbers were in roman numerals. I would sit and study it and I worked out how to interpret them. Then when I had mastered that you set me a challenge to write out all the numbers 1-100 in roman numerals!

      Then, you taught me how to count to 100 - in French!

      Me Mam bought me a broken Mickey Mouse watch in St John's Market to learn how to tell the time. You took it apart and got it working… then, you taught me how to tell the time!

      You would also have me writing reams and reams of paper in cursive writing.

      When you first brought Margie to meet us, she said to me, 'You must be the child prodigy'. When I asked her years after you were married what she meant she said that when you were telling her all about your family you said to her, 'My little baby sister writes the words to Diana Ross songs all over the bedroom walls… in double writing! This was obviously tongue in cheek, 'cos if I had done that, me Mam would have killed me. In fact, you would have killed me!! Slave driver that you were. No wonder I was put off going to school!

      I've got the Blue Peter badge that you won and the personal letter from Biddy Baxter for the poster of the Liverpool Landmarks that you sent in. This included the new Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. The stalwarts didn't like the new cathedral which earned the nickname 'Paddy's Wigwam', but you loved it. So much so that you painted it on to the side of Alec Jones'(Printers) wall between Vauxhall Gardens and Highfie depicting the date it was officially opened. You said it would come into its own. And now in the 21st Century it definitely has! You would absolutely love the appearance of it now from the far end of Hope Street, especially when it is lit up at night. You were definitely a visionary!

      I often wonder what you'd make of things if you were to pop back to see us. The technology we have now is amazing! You were always the first with anything new to come out and CD's were just emerging 20 yrs ago. Well they're old hat now! We have mp3s and mp4s now. You can get a disc which holds about 300 tracks. You could listen to Diana Ross for hours on end without budging!

      You were just on the verge of getting up to date with a carphone 20 years ago. All the kids have their own mobiles now which first started out like a house brick but are now the size of a box of Swan Vestas! And what you can't do on these mobiles is anybody's guess! They take photos, videos, send e-mails, (that's a version of a telex) all kinds!

      They all have their personal lap tops and can reach the other side of the world in a split second!

      Remember when you used to say you'd like a telly mounted on the wall? Well now you can! They are so slimline and so cheap everyone's got them.

      We now have digital cameras and the camcorders are pocket size. And by that I mean your top pocket! Oh and Brian, Betamax and VHS video recorders are well and truly consigned to the history books! We progressed to DVD's but now we've gone even further and have a digibox where you don't even need a disc. You just record to the hard drive! And, you can record two programmes and watch a third off a tape if you like. How good is that?

      Remember the portable cassette recorders we had where you had to plug the mic in? Well after that, Walkmans came out which took a CD and a pair of headphones. They were great at the time but now we have Ipods which can store thousands of tracks. They're not much bigger than your Barclaycard and it's all you need to bring on holiday with you 'cos you can plug them into a sound system. I often wonder what you'd have on your Ipod today.

      I have loads of memories of us growing up despite a 13-year age gap and I honestly believe that I have thought of you each and every day of the past 20 years no matter where in the world I am. Mind you, you had such an extensive record collection that I'm bound to hear something, somewhere that will stir my memory!

      There have been times on holiday in a Mediterranean country and I have spotted you. I've been that convinced that I have actually followed the person around!

      Every holiday I've ever been on, no matter how diverse, from Israel to Lapland, or New york to the Caribbean, the comment's always the same, 'Our Brian would love this.' I Know you would be there with us as you loved our family holidays abroad. Then, because me Mam would only venture as far as Wales, after we came back you would go to Rhyl with her and her sister, Julia.

      You just loved being with people full stop! I miss the times we would go up to your house over Christmas, at Halloween for barbeques in the summer or just off the cuff on a Saturday night or Sunday afternoon.

      You loved to fuss around people waiting on them hand and foot and making cocktails. You were definitely the 'Host with the most!'

      I miss not being able to pick the 'phone up for advice or simply just for a natter. One of the last 'phone conversations we had was about 'The Brits'. It was the one hosted by Mick Fleetwood and Samantha Fox. What an embarrassing shambles that was! We talked for over an hour dissecting and analysing the whole show and laughing our heads off at different things we were recalling. The Four Tops were announced, twice and out came… Boy George!

      We've followed in your charitable footsteps. We have an annual appeal on Radio City called 'Give a child a chance'. Every year Paul has to bid on something! This year he bought (for Lauren's 18th) a day on the River Mersey in a yacht! It would have been great on New Year's Eve but thought it would be nicer in the summer so we haven't been on it yet.

      You would have been on it with us for sure. You'd have been made up! I can just imagine you; you'd be like Simon Le Bon in the 'Rio' video!

      Duran Duran were great in concert, by the way, Bri. We've got a 10,000 seater arena now which looks great on the waterfront so we attract all the big names new and old. I'm never away from the place and I bet you wouldn't be either!

      We've been to see Diana Ross at the Summer Pops, 3 times now in your memory. You would love Deacon Blue in concert. The roof lifts and the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end when they sing 'Real Gone Kid', your last favourite song I remember.

      I think you would have liked Simply Red and The Police in concert and I often wonder which new artistes you would like these days. Coldplay were amazing, I think you'd definitely like them and I think also the young crooners like Michael Buble.

      Out of soul singers I think there's only Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson to emerge in the past 20 years that you'd like. Me mam used to love Girls Aloud. You'd probably say they're not as good as the Supremes but I think you'd like them anyway!

      You wouldn't know the Liverpool waterfront now Bri. It resembles the Shanghai skyline. We've still got the three graces but so many more new buildings and apartments. You would love it. Remember you were on the verge of buying a waterfront apartment in the Albert Dock in the mid 80s? Well, you would be spoilt for choice now with so many new apartment blocks. I often wonder where you'd be living now. I guess it would be in a fantastic penthouse suite so you could look out over the city that you loved.

      There are loads and loads of trendy restaurants and bars especially in the dock area. Again, we always think of you when we go to any of them.

      We've got our own version of the Twin Towers 'Windows of the World'

      Restaurant called The Panoramic. We call it 'Windows of The Wirrall'. It's on the 34th floor in Old Hall Street and the views are magnificent. It's great looking down onto our childhood neighbourhood although its all changed now. Nevertheless, it brings back lovely memories of when we were all together.

      I could go on for hours and hours more Bri, but I'm getting too emotional.

      Give our love to me Mam and Dad and all our aunties and uncles and keep on guiding us and spurring us on as I know you have over the past 20 years!

      With lots of love from your still heartbroken baby sister, Debbie, Paul, nephew Clarke and nieces Lauren and Deanna.

      XXXXX

      A letter to Brian Christopher Matthews, who died aged 38 at Hillsborough, written by his family

      Dear Brian,

      Can't believe it's been 20 sad years since we saw your handsome, smiling face. Is it really 20 years since that awful dreadful day when you were robbed of your precious life, so unneccessary and so cruel. You only went to a football match!

      Still can't believe you are no longer with us. We miss you more and more each passing day and it is so sad to think that you have missed out on so many family occasions like birthday celebrations and Christmas etc.

      You were so full of life Brian, so talented and gifted, so charming and funny, so stylish, so ambitious and so successful and gave so much of your time to others, especially your contribution to charity work. You were also very thoughtful and considerate Brian, and people who met you always spoke highly of you.

      People often said that once they met you they would never forget you - you always left a lasting impression. Apart from being very hard working you liked to play hard too and always enjoyed a great night out with family and friends, and especially enjoyed your holidays. Thinking back over your life Brian, another thing that made you happy was your love of listening to music, especially Diana Ross and Tamla Motown.

      The shock of losing you on that fatal day devastated our whole family, but especially our beloved Mam and Dad (Dora & Albert Matthews) who sadly are no longer with us. They were deeply effected by your sudden death and truthfully they never fully recovered even though they tried to put on a brave face for everyone and even managed to smile behind their tears and broken hearts. Our only comfort now Brian is that we hope you are reunited with our Mam and Dad again and you are happy together.

      Since you've been gone Brian, there have been some new additions to our family. When you were taken from us you were the proud uncle of Lee, Stephen, Clarke and Michael, but now you have two nieces, Lauren and Deanna and another nephew, Jonathan. I am sure Brian that you would have been a very proud doting uncle to them all.

      We will make sure that your memory will live on through each and every one of them.

      Also Brian, in the last 20 years there has been so much change to the Liverpool waterfront and we now have a new shopping complex called Liverpool One... bet you would have loved it! All the skyscrapers, apartments, restuarants and bars, and not to mention the impressive Echo Arena. I know you would have loved the new look of our city and you would have been impressed with Liverpool being chosen as Capital of Culture in 2008.

      Finally Brian, I would like to say that we are so proud and privileged to have had you as our brother. Thank you for all the wonderful childhood memories that you have given us and thank you for being part of our family. We will remember you and talk about you until the end of our lives. You were so unique and an inspiration to us all. You will live in hearts forever. Brian you are "OUR HERO" and "THE WIND BENEATH OUR WINGS".

      FOREVER HEARTBROKEN YOUR SISTERS DIANNE, BRENDA & DEBBIE AND YOUR BROTHER CHRISTO. XX AND ALL THE FAMILY.

      SURELY ONE DAY BRIAN, JUSTICE WILL BE DONE!!

      Puts a lump in my throat

      RIP 96

      Quick Reply