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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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  1. National

Hillsborough surveillance claims under investigation

An allegation of surveillance by two police officers in the aftermath of Hillsborough is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Hillsborough: more police changed statements

Donna Miller holding a photo of brother Paul Carlile who died at Hillsborough Credit: ITV News

The Hillsborough Preliminary hearing has revealed more police statements from the stadium disaster had been changed than previously thought.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation show 238 police statements have been altered, originally it was thought to have been 164.

220 of those officers are still alive, 132 of those officers have been invited for interview.

The IPCC are investigating allegations of a potential cover-up by the West Midlands Police during their investigation into the Hillsborough Disaster.

IPCC to launch appeal for Hillsborough witnesses

The Independent Police Complaints Commission will today launch a fresh appeal for witnesses as part of its investigation into the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster.

96 people died at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield on 15 April 1989 during a FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest .

West Midlands Police have been the subject of sustained criticism from victims families and campaigners since the event. There are currently three on-going investigations into the event.

The IPCC are investigating allegations of a police cover-up and are looking for witnesses as part of their investigation.

Fans try to get away from the crush of the crowd as they pour into the ground on the day of the Hillsborough disaster Credit: Ross Kinnaird/EMPICS Sport

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Hillsborough investigation: West Midlands Police policy books recovered

Deborah Glass, deputy chair of Police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The police watchdog has revealed it has discovered West Midlands Police documents relating to the Hillsborough disaster.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has confirmed it has recovered 'West Midlands Policy books that have never been seen by previous inquiries.'

In June this year, the Midlands force carried out detailed searches of its archives, following an independent report in 2012 which said it knew statements had been charged to protect senior officers in South Yorkshire from criticism.

74 more Hillsborough officer statements 'altered'

The police watchdog has revealed that statements of 74 more officers at the Hillsborough stadium disaster "may have been amended."

After the incident in 1989, West Midlands Police was called in to investigate South Yorkshire Police.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission made the revelation as it provided an update on the setting up of its inquiry into the tragedy:

"We have uncovered material which would suggest that fans’ witness accounts may have been altered.

We have recovered pocket notebooks from officers who were on duty on the day of the match.

We are in the process of interviewing all the surviving officers whose accounts were amended."

– DEBORAH GLASS, INDEPENDENT POLICE COMPLAINTS COMMISSION DEPUTY CHAIR

'No stone unturned' in Hillsborough police search

West Midlands Police investigated South Yorkshire Police's handing of the disaster Credit: West Midlands Police

West Midlands Police says it will leave "no stone unturned" as it looks in its archives for material related to the Hillsborough disaster.

96 Liverpool fans died during their team's FA cup semi final 23 years ago.

An independent report last year said the Midlands force knew statements had been changed to protect senior officers in South Yorkshires from criticism.

Storage areas at Lloyd House are among the locations being searched Credit: David Jones/PA Archive/Press Association Images

West Midlands Police Deputy Chief Constable Dave Thompson, said:

"We are committed to the IPCC’s Hillsborough investigation and supporting the coroner’s inquest into the disaster which is scheduled for early 2014.

"We have no reason to believe West Midlands Police holds any more Hillsborough related material but, due to the recent finds, we want to be able to assert this with the highest degree of confidence to the inquest coroner."

Police statement on Hillsborough investigation

I welcome today's decision by the IPCC to look into the role of West Midlands Police following the tragedy at Hillsborough in 1989.

As Chief Constable I read the Hillsborough Independent Panel Report and immediately referred West Midlands Police to the IPCC.

Today, the IPCC have accepted that referral and West Midlands Police will give their full support to the IPCC investigation.

– Chief Constable Chris Sims
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