‘Mum…’ This was the last word that 15-year-old Liverpool fan Kevin Williams spoke as he lay dying, one of the 96 tragic victims of the Hillsborough disaster.
Kevin’s mum, Anne, was not there to answer his call but she never let her son down. From that fateful day, April 15, 1989, she embarked on a remarkable 24-year battle to see justice done.
Convinced of a cover-up by the powers that be, she left no stone unturned in her quest to uncover the truth. It was a campaign that she fought to her dying day, succumbing to cancer at the age of 62 in April, 2013. Anne’s efforts had not been in vain. Just months earlier, a historic breakthrough saw the original inquest verdicts quashed, following a public apology to the Hillsborough families by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Her daughter Sara, Kevin’s sister, was with Anne every step of the way. Now, with the help of personal recollections penned by her mum in her final months, she tells the real story of Anne’s remarkable journey – her spirit in the face of the many setbacks and her defiant refusal to accept defeat. Anne’s final message before losing her fight for life was ‘I never walked alone’. This book is dedicated to everyone who has ever fought for justice in the name of the 96.
In 1989, I, along with my sister, was taken by our parents to lay flowers in memoriam for 96 people who had died at a football match. I don’t remember this, I was only five and in fact my first really knowledge of the Hillsborough disaster didn’t happen until much later. As I said, I was baby. In 1996, I watched the Jimmy McGovern docudrama on ITV and afterwards I openly sobbed for what had happened. From that moment on I noticed things about my city (Liverpool) that I had never been aware of before.
With the recent news of the Hillsborough Inquiry coming in favour of the families of the 96 people killed at Hillsborough I picked up a copy of Anne Williams – With Hope in Her Heart by Sara Williams. Anne Williams was the mother of Kevin Williams, a young fifteen year old boy who was one of the 96 victims. Anne Williams fought for over 25 years to have the truth revealed about what happened to her son on that fateful day. The massive cover up operation meant that the South Yorkshire Police publically accused the fans of Liverpool Football Club of causing the disaster taking none of the blame themselves.
In 2012, the truth was revealed (through Anne Williams and the other families tireless campaigning) and a new inquest into the deaths was to be opened.
Anne Williams – With Hope in Her Heart by Sara Williams is Anne Williams Story. It is told in such concise detail and with such heartbreaking emotion – in both Anne Williams’ words and her daughters. Sara Williams does her mother proud with the release of this truly amazing book about the resilience of one woman whose life was torn apart by the death of her son.
Everybody should read Anne Williams – With Hope in Her Heart by Sara Williams. It is important. The most heartbreaking thing about this book is the knowledge that Anne Williams passed away before she could see the blame apportioned to the right people and the hard work and the courage of her conviction paid off.
The world needs more people like Anne Williams. Justice for the 96.
Anne Williams – With Hope in Her Heart by Sara Williams is available now.