A letter to Keith McGrath, who died aged 17 at Hillsborough, from his sister Anne-Marie
My big brother Keith,
Today it's 20 years since they took you away. My beautiful big brother.
I was six then but the pain then is still as strong as it is today. All those birthdays and christmas's without you. I only went to the shop with dad, when I got back mum was staring at the TV. I knew something was wrong.
The next few days were strange. Everyone crying, strange people around. Growing up without you is so hard. My 16th, my 18th, my 21st. Tears shed. We searched for justice but so many hurdles put in our way.
I will always love you.
Your little site
A letter to David John Benson, who died aged 22 at Hillsborough, from his daughter Kirsty Jade Benson
To my daddy who went to live with the angels,
Wow, twenty years without you in my life and that same star still shining so bright in the sky at night. I know deep down you are watching over me but sometimes I get a niggle. An angry niggle playing on my mind. Why me? I was only a baby at two years old who was never given the chance to remember you. Why you? At twenty two years old you were just building our future. Why my mum? The only love she knew. But all these questions racing through my mind never have an answer.
Last year your grandson, Cody, made an entrance into this world. I ached for you to be here to celebrate this magical moment in my life and to be able to hold him and cherish him forever. However, beyond my tears, was a feeling. A deep feeling. Even though you are not here in sight, you are never far away from us. You are always there to guide us and protect us.
Our little Cody, now turned one, waves night night to his grandad angel in the sky. He will always know who you are and that you are his secret friend just like you are mine and that all he has to do is whisper and you will be there to lead him the right way.
I may not have my own memories of you but through pictures and talk, I have images and they are unbreakable. No one can take them away from me.
You will continue to shine through Cody.
My daddy with the angels.
You will never be forgotten.
All my love
A letter to Richard Jones, who died aged 25 at Hillsborough, written by his mum
I find it hard believe that twenty years have gone by since I last held you or heard your echoing around our home. I miss everything that was you, and like most mums adored her son.
Thank you Rick for making me so proud to be your mum and for 25 wonderful years of love, laughter and lots of fun. Yes I wanted more, so much more but until we meet again you are always on my mind and forever in my heart.
So many questions remain unanswered. Why didn't he get to hospital, why was he declared dead on a dirty gymnasium floor.
Why when 96 people died has no one been held responsible.
Twenty years on and those question and lots more are still being asked.
Love Mum, Dad, Steph & Pete
Letter about Henry Charles Rogers, who died aged 17 at Hillsborough, from his mother
In 1989, Henry was 17-years-old and was studying for his A-Levels at Queens Park High School in Chester. It was his intention to go to university and then on to work in the financial sector in the City. His bedroom was a reflection of his Liverpool allegiances - a masterpiece of the team colours. He travelled to the match on the 15th with his older brother Adam and friends Phil and Carl. He was the one who never returned home.
Very, very sadly, his brother Adam also died six months later as my husband, Steve, daughter Alex and I travelled to Sydney, Australia to fulfil a longstanding work assignment. Adam died in his home, alone. He had been diagnosed at the age of nine with childhood onset diabetes and he died in a hyperglycaemic coma. However, I always add that he also died of a broken heart. He had elected to stay behind in the UK to continue to work with Unilever and remain with his girlfriend, Claire.
It remains a huge sadness and source of guilt that we were with neither of our sons as they died, to hold their hands, to give them comfort and to say goodbye. We will always be grateful to the two lovely young men who came to our home in Dodleston soon after Hillsborough to tell us that they were with Henry as he passed away.
Henry was a wonderful son, full of fun, athletic and loving. His little sister was his pride and joy and even at such a young age, he instilled a feeling in her that you must embrace life and be as good as you can be. She has done just that and is now a competition lawyer working in Brussels, where she is to be married later this year. She too is an avid Liverpool fan and both boys would be so proud of her.
Letters to Thomas Steve Fox, who died aged 21 at Hillsborough, from members of his family
I cherish the memory of your smile and laughter. You are forever in my heart.
Dearest Steve, you are for in our thoughts and our golden sky.
We miss you.
Doug, Ann, Nikki and Lucie xx xx
Your never far away from our thoughts and you will always have a place in our hearts.
Cheryl, Phil, Chloe and Scott
Time and years slip slowly by, but love and memories never die, in our hearts you'll always stay.
Auntie Joan, Uncle Harry and Uncle Rob
The Book of life you cannot buy, it's very rare and true.
It's a special book called memories. The one's we have of you.
Tony, Ceri, Kyle and Aaron
A Letter about Colin Wafer, written by his sister Lisa a couple of weeks after he died, aged 19, at Hillsborough
The shock I faced was the death of my brother just a few short weeks ago. I have never experienced this kind of shock before in my life and I never want to again. Words cannot describe the feelings I had, or still have as it changes all the time, never the same emotions.
Liverpool versus Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough (the ground of Sheffield Wednesday), was an ordinary football match where 95 people innocently died for the sake of sport. One of those 95 was my brother Colin.
Colin was just 19, a shy and hard-working lad. He had never been to an away match before because of his job as a barman in the Dockers Club.
Colin left the Dockers Club because it was only a weekend job and he had been promoted in his day job (TSB bank clerk). He was to celebrate leaving the Dockers on Thursday, but he never did because of the disaster.
On the Friday night before he died, girls fought over him whilst he was out, so I left and said, 'Bye, see you tomorrow.' I went home and left him to carry on enjoying the last night of his life. Those last words, 'Bye, see you tomorrow', will always stay in my heart, but as the saying goes, 'tomorrow never comes'.
At 3.06pm on the 15th April 1989, the football match was stopped, but it wasn't until 3.45am on the 16th April 1989 that the tragic news came to us via my brother Ian.
Ian is my only brother now, but he has suffered the worst because he was more like a friend to Colin than a brother. In those twelve hours or so in between, I felt numb. People have said before that they felt like this, but I did not know what they meant until now, for there was little I could do except hope and pray Colin would come back. Those hours were filled with sorrow and grief. I cried with pain, I cried with helplessness, but I also remembered all the time we had together.
Colin did return, but not until Thursday 20 April 1989, and this was in a wooden box known as a coffin. Still the numbness never went.
He had said the day before, 'I'll come back home tomorrow and either get drunk with happiness if they win or with sorrow if they lose.'
The pain and sorrow the players felt at that moment (three zero six pm) was practically the same as mine. They were not allowed to help, nor was I. They were not aware of what was going on, nor was I.
There was little I could do, but much to hope for:
That Colin would come back
That Colin would drive up in his car
That my mum and dad would comfort each other and release their grief
That Ian would express his anger in some way
That the other families who lost someone would comfort each other and manage
That everyone in Liverpool would just be okay - it didn't matter what I felt as long as they were fine
I am beginning to experience a lot of emotions such as hurt from the tragedy, but unlike my family I cry in secret, just as Colin would have. I wouldn't want to hurt anyone, just as Colin never did. I don't want to attract attention, as this was not Colin's style.
Now my family are starting a fresh new life and trying to carry on from before the 15th April 1989 because Colin has only died in body, but will never in soul. He will always be in our thoughts and in our hearts.
'Our' means family and friends because of the love, support and affection from everyone we know.
So remember, 'live today as if it were your last' for who knows, it might just be. Colin didn't know that the party he was at the night before was going to be his last.
God always takes the best first, and there couldn't have been anyone better than our Col.
A letter about Gerard Baron Snr, who died aged 67 at Hillsborough, written by his son Gerard
My dad was an immense Liverpool Fan and I followed suit from the age of 7 - I’m now 46. My father was ever so proud of his brother Kevin (Baron) especially when he was selected to play in the 1950 Cup Final versus Arsenal, sadly losing.
I will never forget what I endured or witnessed that terrible day which resulted in the tragic death of my father and 95 other souls. Hillsborough changed my life completely. The 20th anniversary is a huge landmark for all those concerned. The HFSG have my total admiration for what they have achieved in those 20 years, often in the face of adversity they held themselves admirably. Without singling out one individual, my opinion is that Trevor Hicks deserves every credit available.
I wish to thank you from my heart what you are doing with regards to the 20th anniversary.
A letter about Tracey Elizabeth Cox, who died aged 23 at Hillsborough, written by her parents
Tracey was the youngest of our five children, her two brothers and two sisters being from eight to sixteen years older than her, the real baby of the family. Twenty-three when she died, she was about to sit her finals at Sheffield University where she was studying to become a speech therapist. On the morning of her death she had been proof reading her dissertation, ready to hand it in for marking. With this and her course work, the University posthumously awarded her degree.
Tracey had always done well at school and spoke Swedish and German fluently, having learnt Swedish as a young child when she lived in Sweden while I was working there. She learnt German at school back home in Surrey, and spent six months of her gap year working in Germany.
Tracey’s six nephews and nieces were particularly fond of their young Aunt who took them Touring and Youth hostelling at different times.
Tracey died with her boyfriend Richard Jones, whom she had known for more than seven years, they were a lovely couple and very happy together – what a dreadful tragedy. They are sadly missed by both families, we will never know if they had lived and married, the additional grand children we might now have to love and to cherish.
June and Geoff Cox
A letter to Carl Brown, who died aged 18 at Hillsborough, from his mum
Carl was a quiet son who had just celebrated his 18th birthday, finished college and had been accepted at the University of Manchester for Computer studies, pending his A-level results.
He loved and was loved by his family. He was a loyal LFC fan attending every match home and away, despite living in Leigh, not Liverpool.
His most prized possession was his season ticket.
He set off on that fateful day full of excitement and joy in the car with his friends as usual, joking that he hoped Liverpool would play Everton in the cup final.
He leaves behind a grieving mum, brother and family - his heartbroken dad has now joined him.
A letter about David Mather, who died aged 19 at Hillsborough, aged 19, written by his Aunt
My nephew David Mather was tragically taken from us on 15 April 1989. David's mum now lives in Bulgaria. I am David's auntie and together with my brother Jimmy Moorcroft, we were at the ground on that day. I was in the stands but Jimmy was in the pens.
As a family we would just like to appeal for anyone who recognises David from that day who could let us know if they were with him at the end or if they carried him out of the pen. David went to the game with four of his friends. They were in the ground at 12:15 as we have identifed him from footage on the day. He was standing with his friends when the game started, but when the crush came he got seperated. His friends got out but he didn't and we have been unable to find out any more. If anyone has any information we would be extremely grateful. I can be contacted by email at
Jacki Moorcroft (David's Auntie)
A letter about Graham John Wright, who died aged 17 at Hillsborough, written by his father
Graham worked for Swinton Insurance in Prescot as an Insurance Clerk. He was very popular and was in a steady relationship with his girlfriend Janet. He liked sport and music and achieved a black belt in Karate. Graham was a fun person to be around and is sadly missed by all who knew him.
George Wright (father)
A letter to Keith McGrath, who died aged 17 at Hillsborough, from his mother
My dear Keith,
My beautiful son.
Writing this letter is so very hard. Today is the 20th anniversary. As I go back in my mind, it was a bright sunny morning when you left at 10 o'clock to get your coach, so looking forward to going to the match.
I thought it was going to be an ordinary day, you going to a football match and you would be home for tea. But you never came home.
You were caged in, wires all around. No way of getting out. This cost you your life.
A beautiful life, so needlessly taken. The hurt is still there Keith and will always be, like our love for you. You're missed so much from morning till night, from sunshine to moonlight.
Today Keith, the world will remember the 96, not as numbers, not as statistics, but as individuals. You, my son, a 17-year-old lad, a football fan, who followed his team with pride.
I love you Keith, as I will always love you. In my heart now and forever. As does your sister Anne-Marie and your brothers, Darren and Mark.
Goodnight, God bless. Say hello to your Dad.
With all our love, your broken hearted Mum, sister and brothers.
Mrs Mary Corrigan (Mcgrath).
A letter to David John Benson, who died aged 22 at Hillsborough, from wife Lesley
It's been 20 years since I said bye to you on that bright Saturday morning. If only I would have known that was going to be the last time I was going to see you... I can remember the smile on your face, what you was wearing and even the smell of your aftershave.
Can't believe that 20 years have passed. Our little girl is now 22, we have a beautiful grandson that you would be so proud of. The
times I've sat and spoke to Kirsty about her dad and told her how proud you would have been of her.
It hurts me everyday to think that you weren't given the chance to see your daughter grow into the most kind, thoughtful and wonderful person she is. Cody David, our grandson, makes me laugh and cry every single day. He is the light of my life and I know he would have been yours to. Kirsty always says to me, mum I wish my dad was here to see Cody and to be proud of me. My answer to that Dave is you can and you are. It's been hard and there was times when I thought I can't do this but I always got the strength and courage to carry on whatever life threw at me and Dave that's cos you gave that to me.
Love you always Dave
A letter about Jack Anderson, who died aged 62 at Hillsborough, written by his son Brian
My Dad is Jack Anderson. He was almost 63 when he died at Hillsborough.
He was a devoted husband to my Mum Eileen, Dad to me and my sister, and a granddad of four. His life revolved around football. He was a Sunday league referee in Kirkby, booking and sending off some of the toughest players you would find anywhere.
He even had some run-ins with Phil Thompson, who was watching his local pub team 'The Falcon' from the touchline.
Dad's real passion was Liverpool Football Club. He had supported them through thick and thin since he was a boy. He gave my Mum the LFC bug when he married her in 1946. He had a motorbike at the time and they would use it to go to all the home games and the matches in Lancashire and Yorkshire. They usually got lost on the way back.
It was a long time before he saw us win a cup final. He went to his first cup final in 1950. Unfortunately we lost and so did my Dad - he never got back home until the Sunday night.
He would always tell me about Billy Liddell and how the Kop nicknamed us 'Liddellpool' because he was such a great player. I was lucky enough to see 'Sir' Roger Hunt win the World Cup with England and the first game I remember my Dad taking me to was a Charity Shield game at Goodison Park, where Roger paraded the World Cup and scored the winner. I knew I was hooked after that.
He wasn't able to get tickets for the '65 cup final. He said the Beatles and Jimmy Tarbuck had taken ours. It seemed believable to me as I was only nine at the time.
It made him determined to go to Hampden Park for the Cup Winners' Cup final the following year, where it lashed down with rain all day and he stood in mud on the terraces. We lost that one as well.
In '71 we played Arsenal in the cup final again. My Dad only got one ticket and I was miserable because I couldn't go, but when I came home from school on the Friday he had been to Radio Rentals and bought us a sixpence slot colour TV. It was fantastic - the whole street wanted to watch. We lost again.
In 1973 we had the chance to win the league and send Wolves down in the last game of the season. I was looking forward to listening to the game on the radio all day. When I got home there was a note left for me that read: "Couldn't resist and couldn't wait. Gone to Wolves. Come on the Reds. Signed Mum and Dad."
We won the league and went on to dominate for the next 20 years.
Dad and I saw us win the cup at last in '74 against Newcastle on what was a great day out for all of us. We never went to the FA Cup final in 1977 because we were saving our money for Rome. We travelled to Italy on the train and it was like a cattle truck with no water, food or toilets, though we had a great time on the Wednesday when we won the match.
We went to Wembley the following year to see King Kenny win it for us again. Mum and Dad returned to Rome in 1984. This time they flew and witnessed us win the trophy for the fourth time. Along the way there were also many great league title wins. Dad had many wonderful times watching Liverpool.
He was a staunch Labour man and when he was made redundant from Otis Elevators, he got a job in security at the Charity Commission office in Liverpool city centre. He said there were many Tory politicians that went there and when Michael Heseltine visited, Dad was determined to make things difficult. 'I don't care who you are, get the right pass or you're not coming in.'
He was desperate for Maggie Thatcher to visit, but she never did.
We went to Hillsborough in 1988 and had no problems getting in or watching. We had a great day. In 1989, we got to the Leppings Lane at about 2:15pm. Outside the ground it was very crowded at the turnstiles and we joined the queue. There were Police on horses doing nothing and no one appeared to be going inside.
The crowd started to build up and we were getting crushed, so we moved over to the right and under a barrier. We stood adjacent to the turnstiles and couldn't see anybody going into the ground.
We were saying to each other that we would miss the start of the match when, suddenly, the Police opened a large exit gate in front of us and told us to go in.
As we went in all we could see in front of us was the tunnel and the pitch at the end of it. The last thing I said to my Dad was 'they're not on the pitch yet' as we went straight down the tunnel, with everybody following behind us.
We got taken with the crowd straight onto the barrier to the left of the centre. I think it was pen three.
We tried to push back as we were used to this on the Kop - you got pushed down, but it eased off and you could move back and relax. But it never happened. It just got tighter and tighter with no release.
I couldn't see the match, but I knew it had started. I could hear people shouting at Bruce Grobbelaar for help.
I felt like I was dying and I think I passed out. When I came round, the crush had subsided. I looked around for my Dad but couldn't see him.
I saw people getting pulled up into the stand above and I went there myself. That's when I realised my arm had been crushed and I couldn't use it. However, when I got up into the stand, I could see people getting carried on advertising hoardings and an ambulance on the pitch. I knew I had to find my Dad.
I went to the exit and down the stairs at the back of the stand. I could see bodies laying where we had been standing just 15 minutes earlier.
I was met by a Policeman. I told him I was looking for my Dad and we went to where the bodies where. I found my Dad straight away with his shirt pulled over his head. I stayed with him for about an hour until I was taken to hospital.
I was lucky, but my Dad and 95 others were not. Myself and many others live with that every day.
You'll Never Walk Alone.
Puts a lump in my throat