A Liverpool fan who suffered life-changing injuries in the Hillsborough disaster has died.
In a statement released by Liverpool Football Club, it was announced 55-year-old Andrew Devine passed away on Tuesday. It added:
“Our collective devastation is overwhelming but so too is the realisation that we were blessed to have had Andrew with us for 32 years.”
Mr Devine was described by his family as a “much-loved son, brother and uncle” who had been supported by his family and a team of dedicated carers. They added:
“We welcome the conclusion of the coroner, Mr Andre Rebello, made today at Liverpool Coroner’s Court, that Andrew was unlawfully killed, making him the 97th fatality of the tragic events that occurred on 15 April.”
96 other people died due to the crush at the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest in 1989, but it was only in 2016 an inquest jury ruled the 96 Liverpool fans had been “unlawfully killed”. That was deemed a turning point in the official response to the disaster, which had previously been marked by a police cover-up – aimed at unjustly blaming Liverpool fans.
Earlier this year, two police forces agreed to pay damages to 600 people over the cover-up, but nobody has ever been convicted over police actions following the stadium crush. Hillsborough remains the UK’s worst sporting tragedy and led to a transformation of safety standards for football crowds, including the move to all-seater stadiums.
Until Mr Devine’s death, the last of the victims had been Tony Bland, who was left severely brain damaged by the crush at the stadium but lived until 1993.
Liverpool FC said the club was “deeply saddened by Andrew’s death.”