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  1. ITV Report

Dad was at Hillsborough when his son James Aspinall died

James Gary Aspinall died at Hillsborough Photo:

James Aspinall's brother David read his pen portrait.

Born in Broadgreen hospital in Liverpool, he was the eldest of 5 children to Margaret and Jimmy.

His brother said "Growing up I remember our J doing the usual boy things that including playing football, cricket and bike riding.

James took a shine to goalkeeping and went to his first football match at Anfield with his dad in 1978.

He was a big fan of Chris De Burgh,

David remembered family holidays in north Wales.

"He would often walk down to the beach for hours at a time on his own and was never interested in pestering mum and dad for money to waste at fairground or arcade."

David was 15 when he lost his brother.

His siblings Kerry was 9, Andrew was 7 and Louise was 6.

"Dad could only watch from the side pen at the Leppings Lane terrace as his eldest son’s future disappeared in such harrowing circumstances.

Powerless to help his son when it was most needed.

Dad has never attended a football match since that day."

When he turned 13, James began working as paperboy for local newsagent.

At 16, he accepted a youth training scheme at Blakes car dealership in Liverpool but was then offered a job at a shipping company.

He continued to do a paper round.

"On Sunday 16th April 1989, the phone rang once more asking if James was available to carry.

I broke the news to the gentlemen and the phone went quiet.

Sadly this was the only time James ever let the elderly man down."

David described his brother as “selfless”.

"A few weeks before Hillsborough, James bought his dad a guitar from one of this first pay packets in hew new job and this guitar still gives dad much comfort each time he plays a tune."

James travelled to Hillsborough with his good friend Graham Wright who was also killed.

"The loss of James in such appalling circumstances left a huge hole in the family unit and mum and dad have never come to terms with this loss."

"Darkness fell over our family on 15th April 1989 and it is only being here now being allowed to describe what a decent human being James was that it’s finally given our family a shard of light into the darkness.

"James was 18 years, one month and two days old when his life was painfully cut short at the Hillsborough stadium.

"On his grave stone is the title of a Chris de Burgh album, Carry Me Like A Fire In Your Heart.

"James has been carried in our hearts every day for the past 25 years.

He will always be loved for who he was and what he meant to each and every one of his family. "

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