Hillsborough Inquests hear from Midlands families

Hillsborough Inquests hear from the families of victims from the Midlands.

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Hillsborough Inquests: David Birtle 'always had a ball at his feet'

David Birtle was 22 and from Cannock in Staffordshire.

Jennifer Birtle was in tears as she read out her statement about son David William Birtle, 22 from Cannock, Staffs, who died at Hillsborough.

He was born in 1966 at her parents' home in West Bromwich. Six months later they moved to Cannock where he almost died from gastroenteritis.

When he recovered and he began to walk.

"Once he could run there was always a football attached to his foot. He never walked. He ran everywhere. Trevor Francis was his hero at that time."

David was described as quiet and a happy little boy. He spent a lot of time with his grandparents: "It broke their hearts when he was killed."

His younger brother Daniel was only 4 when David died. "He missed out by not having David in his life. Daniel is very much like him in many ways."

David's step-father went to work in Oman and enjoyed the culture and climate on visits there. He lived with his grandparents when his mother moved out there."He became an ardent fan of Liverpool Football Club. Sadly that decision was going to cost him his life."

"David wan’t perfect, none of us are, but he was just getting his life together."Jennifer Birtle told the jury that somebody broke into her son's car at Hillsborough and stole his radio.

She said his scarf was still inside so the thief knew why the vehicle was still there.On hearing the news of his death three weeks short of his 23rd birthday, she flew back to the UK.

"I had to listen to two expats reading a local paper and saying ‘The police said it was hooligans’ as if it was ok and it was their own fault.""I tried to explain it all to Daniel... David wouldn't be at Grandma's because he had gone to live in the clouds with the care bears."

"None of us will ever be the same again. We've all changed and not for the better I'm afraid.""David was loved deeply by all his family and is missed every single day buy us all."

We were robbed of a son, a brother, grandson and now uncle. David did not get the chance to have a family but we know he would have been a wonderful father."

"I've asked myself a million times if only I’d been at home but I know David would still have gone to Hillsborough that day and he was at his happiest watching Liverpool.""As a family we are owed an explanation sooner rather than later as to how and why David died that day."

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