Parents of 97th Hillsborough victim speak of their pride

·2-min read
Andrew Devine (then aged 30) after emerging from an eight-year vegetative state following the Hillsborough disaster (Family handout/PA) (PA Media)
Andrew Devine (then aged 30) after emerging from an eight-year vegetative state following the Hillsborough disaster (Family handout/PA) (PA Media)

The parents of the 97th Hillsborough victim have spoken of their pride as he is due to be awarded the Freedom of Liverpool

Andrew Devine, 55, died in July, more than 32 years after he suffered serious injuries at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final.

He is expected to be posthumously awarded the Freedom of Liverpool at a meeting of Liverpool City Council on Wednesday.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast his father Stanley said he felt “proud” to see his son being given the honour.

For us it means he is remembered and that is what makes it important to us

Hilary Devine

Mr Devine’s mother Hilary added: “It’s an honour from this city.

“For us it means he is remembered and that is what makes it important to us.”

The couple, from Mossley Hill, Liverpool, said Mr Devine had been at the centre of their family and was still talked about every day.

They said they had travelled to Sheffield on April 15 1989 after a Merseyside Police colleague of Stanley’s knocked on their door to tell them their son, then 22, had been injured.

Mr Devine was in hospital for almost four years before he came home, where he had 24-hour care.

The Hillsborough Memorial outside Anfield stadium (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)
The Hillsborough Memorial outside Anfield stadium (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)

Stanley said: “They did say three months was the most for him, well he managed 32 years so I don’t think we did too bad.”

The couple said while in the hospital in Sheffield, footballers Emlyn Hughes and Craig Johnston came to offer to help and to take their laundry for them.

Stanley said: “Both always came through the back door, they didn’t come for publicity.”

The keen Liverpool supporter continued to attend matches with his carers.

When the team won the Champions League in 2019 their celebratory bus tour made a detour to the Devines’ house and player James Milner held the trophy over the side of the bus for Mr Devine to see, his mother said.

She said: “It was quite a moment, it made his day.”

Jimmy McGovern (Ian West/PA) (PA Wire)
Jimmy McGovern (Ian West/PA) (PA Wire)

Mr Devine’s name will join the 96 other victims of the disaster who were awarded the freedom of the city in September 2016, after inquests ruled they had been unlawfully killed.

He is being nominated alongside screenwriter Jimmy McGovern who wrote docu-drama Hillsborough, which aired in 1996, and is being recognised for contribution to British TV, film and theatre over the past 40 years.

The screenwriter said: “To be nominated along with Andrew, and to join the other 96 men, women and children whose lives were unlawfully taken away that day at Hillsborough, on that roll of honour is truly humbling.”

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