A tribute to the survivors of Hillsborough has been unveiled by the family of a Formby mum
A permanent tribute to the survivors of Hillsborough has been donated by the family of a Formby mum. The special commemorative plaque has been unveiled at Central Station to honour and recognise the survivors of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.
Dozens of people gathered at Liverpool’s Central Station on Sunday 26th November to see the tribute revealed after it was donated by the family of late campaigner, Anne Williams, whose 15-year-old son, Kevin, died in the 1989 tragedy.
Before Anne lost her battle to cancer in 2013, she made a bucket style list of her last wishes and tasked her brother, Danny, with carrying them out on her behalf. The final one was to create a touching tribute to the survivors who she credited with trying to save her beloved son Kevin, who was among 96 Liverpool fans who died at Hillsborough Stadium, on 15th April 1989.
This is a tribute to our Hillsborough Survivors to recognise the effort they made to help save others, the suffering they have endured for many years and their courage in supporting the families in the light for justice. On behalf of the families of lost loved ones, the people of this great city and the late Anne Williams.
You will never be forgotton
Danny commissioned a commemorative bronze piece after discussing the design and details with many of the survivors and families, who gave their approval and expressed how much it would mean to them. However, four years after Anne’s death, he still struggled to find a permanent home for the plaque and faced many knockbacks along the way. On Sunday 26th November, Danny completed Anne's final wish – creating a permanent tribute to the survivors who tried to help Kevin at Hillsborough, attempting to save his life.
His main aim was for it to be placed in a community environment and after being contacted about Danny’s story, rail network provider Merseyrail, agreed to install it at Liverpool Central- its flagship station.
Steve Hart, a Hillsborough survivor said: “I think you can tell by the amount of people that turned up today just how important this plaque is to the people who came back that day. This is a focal point for them all now, and I hope so because so many of them to this day have never had the help that they should of had. If this can give them some sort of peace and closure then I think it’s fantastic."
“A lot of them still have their demons to face, and if this in any way at all helps them then I think it’s fantastic.”
Merseyrail agreed to place the memorial in the station so everyone passing through will be able to stop and see the plaque.
Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region’s Metro Mayor said: “I think it’s an appropriate place as there’s as much as 16 million people here every year, and I think some of those people will take an opportunity to come here and have a look and just pause for a second and think about what happened all those years ago.”
Mayor Rotheram, who was at Hillsborough, said: “It’ll mean different things for different people because some who have attended today’s unveiling, like myself, were there on the day and we will have our own memories of the tragic events in April 1989. For others, it’ll be about the true-spirited people of Liverpool and how that solidarity carried us through for nearly three decades until we got truth and justice.”
The unveiling ceremony took place at 2pm on Sunday 26th November and was attended by Danny and his family, who lead the tribute to the survivors’ efforts, in memory of his sister, Anne.
Speaking about Anne, brother Danny Gordon, said: “Anne was a dedicated supporter of the survivors and always said they tried to save her little boy, so this was her last legacy. Being from Formby, Anne regularly got the train to Liverpool Central to attend her meetings for justice in town, so it’s really special to have it there."
“The plaque was her way of recognising all the suffering and trauma they have been through, and are still going through, and to thank them for the help they gave to others, on that terrible day."
“We hope this tribute will give the survivors some small comfort knowing they will never be forgotten.”
Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, managing director at Merseyrail said: “We want to help respect Anne’s last wishes and the plaque will act as a permanent reminder of that tragic day in Liverpool’s history."
“It will be seen by hundreds of thousands of passengers, who will be able to pay tribute to the survivors, which is exactly what she would have wanted.”
Video from the day