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Hillsborough campaigner to be honoured

Anne Williams Credit: PA

Hillsborough justice campaigner Anne Williams who died earier this year is to be honoured at Sunday's BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony. Anne Williams fought tirelessly to overturn an inquest verdict of accidental death against her 15-year-old son Kevin.

He was one of 96 Liverpool fans who died in April 1989 at the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

The BBC award is given for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity.

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Anne Williams: A mother's fight for justice

Hillsborough campaigner Anne Williams defied doctors by attending her last public appearance at the Hillsborough memorial service on the Monday before she died.

Her son Kevin died at Hillsborough, aged 15.

Anne Williams in 2009, wearing a t-shirt showing the names of the 96 fans killed at Hillsborough Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive

Since then, Mrs Williams was known as one of the loudest voices throughout the campaigners' efforts for justice.

She was an early chairman of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and later independently established Hope For Hillsborough (For Justice) in an effort to secure a fresh inquest into her son's death.

The funeral of Anne Williams will take place in Merseyside, later today.

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Funeral for Hillsborough campaigner Anne Williams

Crowds are expected to line the streets in Merseyside to pay their respects to the Hillsborough campaigner Anne Williams whose funeral takes place today.

Hillsborough campaigner Anne Williams whose 15 year old son Kevin was killed in the Hillsborough disaster Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

A service will take place at Our Lady's church in Formby, Merseyside, to remember her life, followed by a committal at Southport crematorium.

Liverpool council is planning a further commemoration today for Mrs Williams, who died of cancer on Thursday April 18 aged 62.

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Steve Rotheram MP pays tribute to 'inspiration'

Steve Rotheram Credit: PA

Anne Williams’ passing is a painful reminder of the families’ long and arduous fight for justice. My sincere hope is that after a battle that demanded too much of her time and energy, Anne is now at peace with the son that was taken from her in April 1989.

Hillsborough continues to be an enormous cross to bear for any of the families or survivors connected to that fateful day. The truth is, many of us will never know the physical, emotional and psychological toll that being involved with one of the greatest injustice in living memory.

For many observers in Britain, Anne’s story is the most well known as we have long been aware that her son Kevin was alive well past the 3.15pm cut off and that with a proper emergency plan deployed, he could have been saved.

For all almost a quarter of a century, the fight for truth and justice became the work of Anne’s life. She was routinely let down by an establishment hell bent on protecting themselves rather than protecting the families.

Kevin’s last word before he died on the pitch at Hillsborough was “Mum”. Anne’s relentless pursuit of justice for her son personified the unyielding bond of a mother’s love for her child. She was an inspiration to thousands of women across Merseyside and Britain.

Despite her cruelly timed death today, Anne’s story, like that of so many other families, continues to give me the resolve to fight for the 96 every single day that I am in parliament.

In a week that saw the funeral of a woman described as the ‘Iron Lady’, Liverpool will mourn the loss of a real woman of steely determination.

Liverpool Mayor pays tribute to "Amazing woman"

Anne Williams was an amazing woman – a dedicated campaigner who continued fighting tirelessly for justice right up until the end. “It was a mark of her incredible strength that even in her last days she made sure she attended the Hillsborough memorial service at Anfield. “It was a real privilege for me to know such an inspirational person whose determination and conviction played a significant role in exposing the cover up over Hillsborough. “We can take heart from the fact that she lived to see the truth revealed.”

– Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson
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