Hillsborough Inquest: Witnesses describe final moments of two young sisters

Sisters Victoria (left) and Sarah Hicks died at Hillsborough football ground in Sheffield.

Two young sisters who were among 96 football fans crushed to death at Hillsborough stadium held on to each other as they struggled to breathe before disappearing from sight, an inquest into the tragedy heard.

Victoria Hicks,15, and her older sister Sarah, 19, had been standing in the central pens behind the goal on the Leppings Lane terrace at the start of the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on April 15,1989.

The Liverpool season ticket holders, had become separated from their father, who went to buy a programme, and went to stand with friends.

One witness Jeffrey Rex described how he saw Sarah supporting her sister as they tried "to get out of the surges" as the crush built up.

Mr Rex told the inquest that he saw the younger of the two girls "deteriorating".

"She was affected very badly by the crush, probably one of the first people in pen three to be affected by the crush", he added.

Another witness Alan Brookes said he saw the sisters "sweating profusely" and they "seemed to be having difficulty breathing".

Family, friends and fans gather around a pitch full of flowers at Anfield a week after the tragedy in 1989. Credit: PA

Brian Doyle described how he heard one of the sisters sob "can someone help my sister" with a look of "total terror".

He told the inquest that he had tried to pull Sarah up but that it had been "impossible" because she was "too tightly packed in".

"I tried to pull her out until I lost my grip on her. I couldn't get her off the floor. I just had hold of her hand, she was crying for someone to help her. Then people were grabbing my hand and I just lost her."

Another witness, Paul Taylor, managed to pull "a lifeless" Vicky from the crowd.

He said she had been lying backwards and told the inquest that he carried her to the side of the pen before trying to give her the kiss of life although "I realised then she was dead".

Mr Taylor was thanked by the Hicks family through their solicitor for his efforts.