1. ITV Report

Hillsborough family say their lives changed forever on the death of Peter Burkett

Peter Andrew Burkett died at Hillsborough Photo:

In the penultimate pen portrait of the week, the Hillsborough inquests heard about Peter Burkett, a 24 year old insurance worker from Rock Ferry, Wirral.

His sister Lesley Roberts read her statement to the jury, surrounded by family.

Peter was born in Bromborough, Wirral on 16th February 1965 followed ten months later by his brother Terry. A second brother, Steven, arrived two years later but he died aged just five months old. His sister Lesley was born in 1969.

She recalled family days out, caravan holidays and playtimes.

"Aunty Sue was only 5 years old when Peter and Terry were born and she remembers them being inseparable." In 1970, their parents' relationship broke down and their mother remarried, moving to live on a farm on Anglesey.

At 11, however, Peter moved back to Birkenhead to live with his father.

He went to Rock Ferry High School from 11 to 16 and was watched over by his uncle Phil, who was a teacher at the school.

"He was a bright student and very popular. He loved football and supported Tranmere Rovers and Liverpool... He would really enjoy a good Liverpool-Everton debate."

"Aunty Jan remembers him being a bright and intelligent boy with so much potential. She remembers how he loved to kick a ball about but most of all she remembers his lovely face and happy smile."

His sister Sarah were born when Peter was 10, followed by his brother Michael.

"Sarah often wonders how life would be different if Peter was still with us.

He would probably share his love of football with his nephew Jay who is just as passionate about the game as Peter was, albeit supporting different teams.

"Sarah feels very sad that Jay was denied the chance to know his uncle Peter.

Sarah was just 14 when Peter passed away and remembers all too well the pain that surged through our mum and the entire family.

In 1979, Terry went to live with Peter at their father’s house in Rock Ferry. Their dad then met Anne, who had three children of her own.

"When he reached 20, a sister Jenni was born. As the baby of the family she was adored by all, especially Peter."

Terry bought his own home in Singleton Avenue in Prenton and in 1986 married his girlfriend Michelle who he worked with at the Royal Insurance Company in Liverpool.

They had no children and later separated but remained friends. Michelle has recently passed away.

"Five months before the Hillsborough disaster, both my big brothers Peter and Terry walked me down the aisle on my wedding day. Without doubt, Peter was the star of the day.

"At the wedding reception, he stood on a chair and made a speech that had everyone roaring with laughter.

"When my girlfriends arrived later that evening I have never seen so many girls fall in love so instantaneously positively besotted all competing for his attending."

Four days after her wedding, Lesley moved to Germany with her new husband.

"Sadly, I only saw Peter once again before that fateful day in April 1989.

"It was impossible not to love Pete. He loved all his family and we all loved him.

There were so many people involved in shaping Peter into the beautiful person he became but ultimately it was Peter who rose above all the challenged life threw at him,

"If you searched the world a million times over, you would never find anyone quite like Peter. To us, he was unique. He was such a lovely, quietly confident person, gentle and kind, intelligent and thoughtful.

He was so full of life, so funny and charming.

"When he walked into a room, it would feel like somebody had switched a light on and everything was instantly brighter.

When he smiled, it warmed your body through to our souls.

He made you feel very special.

"His passing had a huge impact on us all. All our lives changed forever, most acutely for my brother Terry.

To this day Terry has not come to terms with Peter’s death, the pain, the sadness and the anger.

There is no doubt that his life would have played out very differently had Peter lived.

"Five months ago, Peter's mum passed away before she was able to complete the pen portrait of her son. She was 66.

"She loved Peter with all her heart and said he was such a loving child and he was lucky to have known him.

He is sadly missed but will live on in our heart forever."

More on this story