Parents of Hillsborough sisters 'lost everything'

The parents of 19-year-old Sarah Hicks and her sister Victoria, 15, who both died in the Hillsborough disaster, gave evidence to an inquest into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans today, on what would have been Sarah's 44th birthday.

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Steven Gerrard's cousin remembered at Hillsborough inquests

Jon-Paul Gilhooley from Liverpool was Steven Gerrard’s cousin and, aged 10, was the youngest to die at Hillsborough in 1989.

A pen portrait of Jon-Paul was read out by family members saying that he "was our world."

(File photo) Jon-Paul Gilhooley. Credit: ITV News

Read on her behalf by his cousins Paula Kadiri and Donna Ridland, the pen portrait by his mother Jacqueline said:

"Jon-Paul loved all his family. When he was 8 he went to a jumble sale and bought small bottles of perfume for me, his two aunties and three cousins.

"He was very loving and affectionate."

Mrs Gilhooley told the jury that after hearing about the Hillsborough Disaster she knew her son wouldn't be coming back:

"I knew before 3.30 on the day of Hillsborough that Jon-Paul was gone.

"Jon-Paul had his life taken away at just 10 years old. He had been denied a chance at fulfilling his life, meeting new friends, getting married, carving out a career and having children.

"To the world Jon-Paul was a football fan, but to us he was our world."

Parents of Hillsborough sisters 'lost everything'

The parents of 19-year-old Sarah Hicks and her sister Victoria, 15, who both died in the Hillsborough disaster, gave evidence to an inquest into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans today, on what would have been Sarah's 44th birthday.

Trevor Hicks said that trying to find the words to describe his daughters in a fair and fitting way "was the most difficult job he'd done in 25 years."

His former wife Jenni described how they were "loved and cherished" by their families.


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Peter Thompson was 'bright and hardworking'

Peter Thompson Credit: ITV

The final pen portrait of the week came from the family of Peter Thompson, 30 from Widnes. It was read to the jury by his younger brother Denis.

Peter was born in Whiston Hospital in 1958 and grew up in Widnes where they had a large extended family.

"Peter grew up in a warm and happy environment. Our dad was a joiner. Our mum was in training to be a teacher at the time."

Denis said they were both hard-working, self-reliant people, just like his brother.

"My brother Tony and I both looked up to him."

Peter loved the outdoors. He joined the Venture Scouts as a teenager, and as an adult he enlisted in the Territorial Army. He was keen on squash and martial arts, and played five-a-side football whenever he could.

"Peter was a bright and hardworking lad. He was popular and had lots of friends."

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Grandad 'denied many more years with his family'

The inquests heard more about Gerard Baron, 67, the oldest to die at Hillsborough, this time from son Gordon and his two daughters.

"Dad spent a lot of time with his children. He often took us on walks where we had hours of fun skimming stones. On the way home we would pick bluebells for our mother."

Gerard Baron Credit: ITV

Mr Baron was said to be very proud of his 16 grandchildren.

He loved to watch Liverpool but also football in general. "We would watch football and if Liverpool scored Dad would have a roar of excitement which almost shook the house!"

"He was in good health and enjoyed walking and often walked for miles. He loved to mess about in the garden."

"He was an intelligent man with integrity. We feel dad has been denied many more years with his family."

Mr Baron's son then struggled to read the final part of his statement.

He explained how he had met a man near Preston last year who knew his father.

"He said to me 'Your dad was a damn good bloke'. We think that sums up our dad, a damn good bloke."

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Victoria Hicks was 'determined to be a sports reporter'

Trevor Hicks told jurors that younger daughter, Vicky, was determined to be a sports reporter.

She taught herself to type and secretly produced a match report in her bedroom after games. He added that no self respecting editor would ever publish them because of the "bias and blatant accusations!"

Mr Hicks said Vicky would have been so proud when Steve McMahon, her favourite Liverpool player, used one of her match reports in his autobiography.

The inquests heard Vicky had completed her mock O-Levels with a good grades forecast: "It was just a pity she did not get to collect the certificate."

Mr Hicks said she was charming, but a bad loser. Whatever the game, Vicky had to win. She also had "a bit of a tough guy image, let down a bit when she dived behind the sofa at Doctor Who."

"Vicky always said 'One day I will have a Ferrari'. I believe she would have, had she survived."

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Sarah Hicks would have turned 44 today

The separated parents of two teenage sisters who died together at Hillsborough stood side-by-side to give their pen portraits of their daughters.

Sarah Louise Hicks, 19, and Victoria Jane Hicks, 15, were at the 1989 game with their parents Jenni and Trevor.

Today would have been Sarah's 44th birthday.

Victoria and Sarah Hicks Credit: ITV

Trevor Hicks told the jury about his memories of Sarah's birth: "She was beautiful and we were chuffed."

When Victoria followed in 1973, he said: "Sarah was delighted with her new sister just as we were."

"She was attractive, sociable and had a lovely disposition. She'd a wide group of friends, loved life, and tried to take everything in her stride. She was cool."

Mr Hicks said Sarah was a "classic A-grade student" who turned down Oxford to read chemistry at the University of Liverpool.

"Sarah was undecided whether to pursue medicine, pharmacology or architecture as a career. She was loving life in Liverpool as an undergraduate but of course she did not get the chance to make the career choice.

"She was very gentle, considerate and caring about the world and all its inhabitants."


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Student John McBrien was 'talented, but so modest'

John McBrien Credit: ITV

John McBrien's mother, Joan Hope, spoke in a weak voice as she sat in the court to deliver his pen portrait.

Born in Bromborough, in 1971, John was the youngest of three sons.

"He was kind, generous, charismatic and a remarkably mature young man. He was talented, but so modest. Everyone loved him."

John was a student at Holywell High School where he excelled academically.

He was studying mathematics, politics and economics at A-Level and had been offered an unconditional place to study socio-economic history at the University of Liverpool.

"We all remember the time when John, whilst studying for politics at school, took part in a mock presidential election. He was a marvelous speaker. He won the election and had his photograph taken for the local newspaper."

The photograph was shown in court as John's mother read her statement.

His school set up a memorial fund in his memory after his death.

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Father: Sisters 'are buried together. Need I say more?'

Trevor Hicks, whose daughters died at Hillsborough, told the jury: "They had their arguments but would defend each other to the death - literally as it turned out.

"The loss of a child is one of the worst things that can happen. The loss of all your children is devastating. You lose everything: present, future and purpose."

Victoria and Sarah Hicks Credit: ITV

The inquest heard the Hicks' marriage broke down "as a result of Hillsborough."

Trevor said: "All our hopes and aspirations were in our children. They were good girls, attractive and with promise, happy and full of purpose, kind and considerate too. We are justifiably proud of Sarah and Vicky."

"They lived together and died together in horrific circumstances supporting the team they loved. They are buried together. Need I say more?"

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Brother: Graham and I were one pair - together all the time

The brother of Graham Wright, 17, from Huyton presented his pen portrait to the Hillsborough inquests.

Stephen Wright said Graham was the youngest of four children. "Graham and I were one pair - together all the time," he told the jury. "Every childhood memory is with him."

Graham Wright Credit: ITV

"We always played together and even shared the same double bed until I was in my teens. We smiled and laughed a lot."

Graham loved to read - even encyclopedias and books about dogs. "He loved his Action Man toys too and ventured outside with his metal detector convinced he would find something."

"He was very bright and loved school and playing football." Graham was in the school team and played cricket too.

In his teens he got a paper job and spent his wages on computer games and magazines.

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Mother: Derrick Godwin was a 'quiet person by nature'

Derrick Godwin Credit: ITV

The mother of Derrick Godwin, who was 24 and from Gloucester, read his pen portrait at the Hillsborough inquests.

Derrick was Margaret's first born. "Our hearts were filled with joy when Derrick was born," she told jurors.

When his sister Valerie followed, she said their family was complete: "Derrick was a happy contented child."

He went to a Church of England primary school in Lechlade and secondary school in Fairford.

"Derrick was a quiet person by nature, neat and tidy and very methodical in everything he did."

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