HJC Details - Who we are & Why we're here

In this section you can read about some of the past and present members of the HJC - mothers, fathers, brothers, survivors and supporters - their stories in their words and why they continue to struggle for Justice.

There are still very many people affected by Hillsborough . If you are a survivor, we can assist in identifying sources of help and provide a space to talk with people who went through the same experiences.

We still need help to continue the legal struggle, some survivors of the disaster may be able to assist as witnesses in up coming court cases. There are many other ways you can help us and we can help with school projects, research etc.

Quick Find - Contact Us

The Hillsborough Justice Campaign
PO Box 1089
178 Walton Breck Road
L69 4WR
Tel / fax : 0151 2605262

email: hjcshop@tiscali.co.uk

Interview with Anne Williams on Ribble Radio 2001

Anne Williams is no longer Chair of the HJC having resigned from the group on 28 February 2006 after informing the group that she would be continuing her son's legal case independently from the HJC. The HJC acknowledges Anne's prerogative to take whatever course of action she deems most appropriate in her pursuit of justice. From its inception the HJC has supported the fight for justice for the 96; in particular the group was able to offer Anne the means to pursue her legal fight for Kevin. Whilst the group sadly had to accept Anne's decision to sever links with the group, nevertheless the HJC's support for the fight for justice for Kevin Williams remains intact and as strong as ever. The group wishes Anne success in her European challenge.

What follows is a radio interview with Anne in 2001 and remains as a historical testament to Anne William's involvement in the HJC.

We're lucky enough to have Anne Williams in the studio today.
Hello Anne

AW: Hello

Could you tell us more about Hillsborough ?

AW: Well it was 11 years ago but it's still very much carrying on with our fight for Justice. Kevin actually went to the match, he was only 15. At first we weren't going to let him go but he loved football so much we decided to as long as he caught the police escort train. It was only in the afternoon we heard there was some sort of trouble there and we put the tv on to have a look but I just thought at the time it was a pitch invasion. And then we waited for Kevin to come hour but he didn't. Then you know it was just bedlum. There we were upset, I had a feeling that something had happened to Kevin and that I wasn't going to see him again.

So what had gone wrong. It was a pitch invasion?

AW: No it wasn't a pitch invasion. We didn't know this at first we were just more concerned about finding Kevin at the time but it was neglect by the South Yorkshire Police. They'd made so many mistakes that day. The first mistake was when CS Duckenfield who was in charge of the ground, gave permission to open Gate C outside where there had been a build up at the ground and without closing a tunnel that led down to Pens 3 and 4 where most of the 96 died.

Click on your choice of player to hear the audioSo what happened? Can you explain to me about opening the tunnel? What happened there?

AW: Well, the tunnel actually leads down to these 2 pens but there is another way around into Pens 1 and 2 and 5 and 6. When the fans were let in from Gate C, right ahead they could see the entrance to this tunnel. A lot of people that had never been to the ground before automatically thought "oh, we'll go down the tunnel, that gets us onto the terrace" but it only gets them onto/into 2 pens that's 3 and 4 which were already full so as the fans were going - the tunnel is sort of on a slope and as the fans were going down, there was no way back. A lot of fans were carried down and the people like Kevin and others that were at the front - it goes down into a well - and they were pushed forward and they couldn't get back, so they were really suffering in, I call them cages, they were caged in like animals and they were suffering in there from 2.30 onwards. The police never did anything about it. There was people screaming to let them out and they just ignored them. They thought they were just Liverpool fans fighting and it was only until about 3.15 that they realised there was something wrong because the fans were actually climbing over the perimeter fences to get out. Fighting for their lives and they were invading the pitch. The police finally did something then, they started evacuating at about 3.15.

So it was quite early on at the beginning of the match that they were...

AW: They did stop the match at 3.06 because of the people climbing over but they didn't realise I don't think that people were dying.

So the police weren't aware of just how serious this was?

AW: No

So what did the police do Anne?

AW: They did nothing at all. They were frightened of a pitch invasion. The main briefing that day by Duckenfield was you don't let anybody out on the pitch. This is the why the cages were put there in the first place.

To control the fans?

AW: Yes. To stop them going on the pitch. But people were just fighting for their lives, just climbing out and climbing over the fences. When they did realise, they did sort of pull people out pretty quickly but then only with the help of the Liverpool fans.

Did anyone call the Emergency Services?

AW: No. One police officer, I think it was about 3.15-3.16 radioed for fire engines with cutting gear. He could see people were dying through the cages. Apparently, when the fire engine arrived it went to the Leppings Lane end and outside he said "I believe you've got a disaster on your hands?" "No we haven't" and sent them away. So they went round to the Pennistone Lane end, that's the Nottingham Forest end but by the time they got on with their cutting gear, it was to late. They got on to late. Nobody implemented the major disaster plan. They said there was a breakdown of radios so really there was no help for them when they were actually pulled out, they were just laid on the ground. They dumped bodies up the river. The Liverpool fans were the one's that got themselves together and decided to rip off the hoardings and use them as stretchers and they started to carry the dying and injured up to the North Stand where they thought there would be some sort of help.

How may estimated people were at the match that day 50,000?

AW: Something like that.

And they didn't have an emergency plan?

AW: No. They never implemented the major disaster plan. It was the actual hospital that implemented it about 3.35 I think it was then an off-duty doctor had seen it on the tv so he rang the hospitals and said do you need me? That was the first the hospitals knew and then there were inundated. The in was chaos at the hospitals as well - bodies all up the corridors and everywhere.

Did they no send any ambulances then?

AW: Oh yes, they sent ambulances. 3.15 the first ambulance arrived at the Leppings Lane end but that was already on the ground, it was the St John's. At 3.20 the first South Yorkshire ambulance came on.

At 3.20?

AW: At 3.20 and then at 3.35 another South Yorkshire ambulance came on but that's the only ambulance that were allowed on the ground that day.

Onto the pitch itself?

AW: Yes.

Were there more ambulances outside?

AW: Oh yes - there was a convoy. There was a convoy of ambulances behind the 3.35 I actually tracked the driver down from the 3.35 ambulance because the police said he was never on the ground and he did pass Kevin. A witness said they tried to flag him down to put Kevin in it. He said the reason he couldn't get on the ground was it was police that cordoned it off.

Click on your choice of player to hear the audioSo the police were blocking the ambulances getting in?

AW: Yes. The police said they couldn't go on because they were fighting. But he actually got a radio message saying get to Leppings Lane because there was fatalities so he just moved through the convoy of police put his light on and moved through. He would have passed Kevin he said it wasn't just the fan that was helping Kevin that was banging on the ambulance he said all the fans were trying to help their friends. So many people were dying, they were injured. He went straight to the Leppings Lane end where he was told to go and he said it was complete chaos. He didn't know who to take or what to do. There was that many people asking him "take my mate." In the end he said he had to throw bodies off the ambulance and pull the doors shut. He said they were kicking and screaming for him to take their friends. But he said he looked back he was hoping that the convoy had come on the pitch and was following him, but no.

Nobody followed?

AW: Nobody followed him and all he could do to the fans was say "take your friends down to the ambulances at the top there."

Would you like to tell us about your first song Anne?

AW: It's Mama - it's off the Genesis tape. It was actually the last tape Kevin had brought in the Christmas before he died. I never played it until after he died. His little girlfriend told me this was his favourite tape so I used to play it quite a lot and it was the wording to well, certain lines when "just to touch or feel you Mama, I just can't keep awake, you listen and you touch me Mama, I know inside you care" and it sued to really get to me plus when I found out he called my name I used to relate it to him. Mama was his favourite track and he called for his mum before he died.

When did you start to realise there was something wrong in Kevin's case?

It was when I attended Kevin's into a side room by a West Midlands Police Officer who said he something terrible to tell me and it was going to upset me. What he said to me was that when Kevin was taken to the gymnasium, he'd opened his eyes and called for his Mum. I was absolutely devastated as this was the first time I'd heard about what had happened to Kevin. In the next breath he turned round and said "a policewoman is actually saying this but when you get into the inquest court the Pathologist will explain Kevin's injuries to you and you'll realise Kevin there is no way that Kevin could have spoken. Well that just broke me, I 'd just gone to pieces. All I wanted to know was where is she, where's the policewoman because she was the last one to touch Kevin. "Oh she's not here today." I got pushed into the inquest court. I don't remember much about the inquest itself because you go dignified but my dignity had gone, I just couldn't stop crying. All I can remember is the Pathologist talking about Kevin's injuries and telling the Jury and the Coroner that Kevin was one of the worst cases that he had dealt with in terms of blueness, haemorrages, swelling and I'm stood there thinking, god, what have they done to Kevin? I just couldn't take all this in. As far as I'd knew and all the counselling I'd had for the last 14 months and I'd been very ill, is people saying he would have died quickly, he wouldn't have felt a thing and there was nothing much wrong with Kevin, even though I hadn't read his autopsy report and my Solicitor passed it to me, he said Kevin's injuries were very, very mild.

So when we came out of the inquest room, we were taken into another room and there was West Midlands Police Officers who were in charge of Kevin's case. The only question I asked was how did my son die? They said "oh we can't tell you." I put my cup of tea down and said I want to go home. So when I came back from that inquest, I felt like I'd just come back from Sheffield 14 months ago after identifying him. I felt like all the counselling I'd had had gone out of window. I was right back to square one, thinking what had they done? I couldn't stop crying. He would have called my name. I know Kevin would have called my name, he was mine. So I was dreadfully upset.

The next day I was still upset. The next day I had a phone call and it was a Detective Sawyers from West Midlands Police and he asked if he could come round and see me. I asked him what form. "To talk about Kevin." I said give me half an hour to feed the kids. When he came round he said to me, he had spoken to an off duty policeman who said that he'd tended Kevin at 3.37 that day and he is now mistaken about convulsion, it was a twitch. I looked at him as if to say, what are you talking about? What's the difference? I didn't even know about this off duty policeman touching Kevin. So I was still upset but I asked him about the police lady, about Kevin calling mum. He said Kevin couldn't have called mum as the Doctor said his injuries were so bad. He said look Mrs Williams, she hasn't been in the force very long, it was body wind. Just before he went he said he'd come to tell me they were having another inquest on Kevin tomorrow. Well I just broke down and said I can't go. I can't go all that way back to Sheffield. So I didn't attend his mini inquest and I just carried on with my life.

He was the only little boy that had 2 inquests on him. 2 mini inquests. Anyway, I was ill. I gradually come to terms with it and thought yes, Kevin died at 4.00 in the arms of the police lady and he was calling my name because he was thinking about me in his last moments. So I started to believe that and come to terms with it. Something else to wrap your head around and then the main inquests to say how they died, started nearly a year later but I was too ill to attend but it didn't matter if you attended or not. It was only to say who they were. I followed it on Granada Reports in the evening just to see if they mentioned Kevin or not. They didn't on the last day of the main inquest our verdict was Accideninquest over 14 months later, I was actually takental Death. That didn't really come as a surprise but what did was that they said they didn't hear any evidence after 3.15 that day and I just couldn't come to terms with the 3.15 cut off point.

Click on your choice of player to hear the audioWhy did they impose a 3.15 cut off point?

AW:The 6 pathologists who carried out the autopsies on the 95 that died came to the conclusion that they all died from traumatic asphyia and it's very quick. They said that when a big surge came at 6 minutes past that would have pushed everyone so badly that they would have become unconscious and then they are brain dead in 10 minutes. So if you were the timing out, by 3.15 all the 95 people would have been dead or brain dead by that time so he said after 3.15 there was nothing you could for these people. It didn't matter what time the emergency services arrived they were all beyond help.

You've said that Kevin was still alive at 4.00

AW:I started to track the police lady down, it took me quite a while but then I found her. I wrote a note to her and she rung up and I asked her would she come and talk to me about Kevin. So she said she would. She came to visit me at my home and I asked her to sit and tell me what happened. She told me he was alive. How she had give him heart massage, resuscitated him. She was actually a dental nurse so she knew exactly what she was doing. The Kevin opened his eyes. He murmured the word mum. He then fell back and died him her eyes. She said to this day she couldn't understand why he died. She couldn't understand why she was never called to Kevin's inquest but she also had told me that she had made a statement out within a few weeks of the disaster saying that Kevin was alive but just before the inquest, the West Midlands Police went round to interview her and they changed her statement. They said that she was off her head, that she was mistaken about Kevin calling mum it was body wind. She actually left the force through the behaviour of the West Midlands Police. I'd like to thank Deborah Martin for everything she did for Kevin because I know how badly it affected her.

You've also spoken to an off duty Police Officer

AW:I also found out from the inquest that he attended Kevin at 3.37 that day and in the inquest, especially the second, it said that he was mistaken about a pulse. No one told me about a pulse and I was thinking what is going on? I need to speak to these people to let them tell me what's happened to Kevin. I finally tracked him down in Liverpool and they were very good and they let me see him. Mr Brouder came out. The first question I asked him was "can you tell me what happened to Kevin?" He said he'd never forget Kevin, right down to his boxer shorts. He was very, very upset. When I asked him questions about was my son alive, he said yes he was alive. If you mean when I find a pulse, if that means he was alive, he was alive. He told me how he came across Kevin. That Kevin had been carried across to the north stand, Mr Brouder said that he saw Kevin moving. He said to his friend, "I'm going to go down and help that little lad." He said "I'm an off duty Police Officer from Liverpool, I want that little lad, I want to come through." He said he had trouble getting through, the police were smarmy. He said he hadn't changed his statement that he was sticking to his first statement with the pulse but the West Midlands Police had visited him. They'd been with him all day on 3rd May and that's when they came to see me. He also said that while he was tending Kevin, an ambulance passed about 3.37 and he asked he asked to stop it as he wanted to put Kevin in it and they wouldn't stop. When I started to read the inquest papers, I believed Mr Brouder, again he was very genuine. He was very, very upset about Kevin and I could see that Kevin had affected him very badly. I was upset because I was hearing things about Kevin for the first time.

Hearing the stories for Deborah Martin and PC Brouder, it must have made you pretty angry

AW:I was angry but I was upset because I didn't understand what was going on. Why had they gone to all this trouble to change these statements, to say he was dead and these 2 police officers first statements were saying he was alive. The second statements said he was dead, they'd made all these mistakes. When I spoke to them, she was adamant he spoke, he was adamant there was a pulse. They'd found Johnny Prescot and he said that policeman needed a medal for what he did for your son, he was alive. He put a him on a trolley when Deborah came to take him into the gymnasium. She was told at the door of the gymnasium to put him on the injured side because he wasn't dead. He did die in her arms but he wasn't dead.

Didn't you also speak to the ambulance driver?

AW:Detective Sawyer who went to see Mr Brouder said he's mistaken about an ambulance. He says there's an ambulance on the ground at 3.37 that he tried to put Kevin in. I've told him there was no ambulance on the ground. But Mr Brouder was so adamant about this ambulance and Det. Sawyer said no. He was mistaken about the pulse, about the twitch, about Kevin being sick and he was mistaken about the ambulance. That there was no ambulance on the ground at that time. Mr Brouder's telling me a different tale to what Sawyer said in the inquest. He said he hadn't changed his statement. So I was getting really confused then. I thought there is something wrong, there's something going on. I started to fight then. I needed to know exactly what had happened to Kevin.

Do you believe that Kevin was alive and could have been saved?

AW:Yes I do. I would take me hours to explain to people but to put it briefly, they put a 3.15 cut off point , they were all dead or brain dead at that time. Kevin wasn't, Kevin died at 4.00. Now if Kevin was alive at 4.00, he was an awkward little boy because he didn't fit in so they had to go round and change statements to make sure he was dead by 3.15 so he fitted in. So nobody has given us an enquiry or looked into events at that time.

So if we could have an enquiry between 3.15 and 4.00, do you believe we could find out why the emergency services were not allowed in to help?

AW:Yes. That's the cover up of Hillsborough . We now that Duckenfield lied about the fans breaking down Gate C when he failed to do his job and opened Gate C. It's not just Duckenfield that made the mistakes at Hillsborough . From the evidence I've seen, I've spent hours with friends at Pathologists and I know now that Kevin did not die from traumatic asphyxia. I've been to the highest man in the country, Doctor Ian West. I've had his photographs looked at. He had a neck injury and all he needed was a simple tracheotomy and Kevin would be alive today but because he didn't get that treatment, the fractures of the little bones in his neck swelled and closed his airway and that's probably why he died in the arms of Deborah when he was trying to murmur the word and they said it would have been possible for him to do that. But because of the 3.15 cut off point, if you really look into it, my argument has been that Kevin could have been saved and the reason he wasn't was because the Police failed to do their job properly. Nobody implemented the major disaster plan. The police had cordoned off the ambulances and when they arrived outside the ground they didn't know what was going on inside.