Week 16: Hero – Anne Williams

by Jackie_South on April 22, 2013

Hillsborough_HeroThis week’s hero is Anne Williams, the leading Hillsborough 96 campaigner who died last week

Twenty four years to the week after her son Kevin perished in the arms of a special constable after being crushed at Hillsborough Stadium,  Anne Williams has succumbed to the cancer she had been diagnosed with last autumn.  Kevin’s last word was “Mum”.

For 23 years and 5 months of those years, officially her son had not died in those arms or spoken her name: the testimony of special PC Debra Martin to say that this had happened at 4pm was retracted so that the fact that most of those Liverpool victims died after the 3:15pm crush, and therefore could well have been saved, could be suppressed.  The coroner, Stefan Poppler, backed the official version.  As a result, the police failures of the day were covered up and the Murdoch press could lie about the circumstances.

But Anne Williams continued to believe that her son could have been saved.  She bravely helped lead the campaign to get to the truth, despite the lack of interest from the media and most of the world outside of Merseyside for most of that time.  Her steadfastness finally led to the independent panel reporting the truth on 12 September last year.

But Williams did not have time to enjoy that hard fought for victory.  Days after David Cameron spoke to accept the findings, Williams was diagnosed with the cancer that killed her.  She did get to see the final quashing of the inquest in December and attended the memorial service for the anniversary of the deaths last Monday in her wheelchair.

Williams was only one of the parents who fought so long for justice for their children, partners, parents, relatives and friends over those long 24 years, but her leadership ensured they did not give up and gave them heart.

Ann Williams, Rest in Peace.

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