Anne Williams, one of the most vocal campaigners for justice following the death of her 15-year-old son at the Hillsborough disaster, has died of cancer aged 62.
Kevin Williams was one of the 96 Liverpool football fans who died at Hillsborough on 15 April 1989.
The timing of his death caused great controversy as the official report at the time stated that all 96 fans were dead or past saving by 3.15pm.
However according to police officer Deborah Martin, Kevin died in her arms well past that time around “ten to four”.
Kevin’s mother, Anne, always maintained that her son could have been saved.
She told Channel 4 News that but for the insertion of a simple rubber tube in his airway he might be alive today.
She refused to accept the official cause of death for her son as “accidental” and had campaigned tirelessly for justice.
Despite being diagnosed with terminal cancer last October, she attended the historic hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice a few months later in December to hear the quashing of the original inquest verdicts.
God willing, I will be here, it has been a long wait to see justice – Anne Williams
From her wheelchair she thanked Attorney General Dominic Grieve for being “a man of his word” in pushing for the new inquests.
She said: “I am glad we never gave up. It has been hard, but we wouldn’t have been here today. I’d like a corporate manslaughter verdict in the inquest, it’s the least for what they have done.
“God willing, I will be here, it has been a long wait to see justice.
“I am so glad I could be here today to hear it for myself.”
Despite her ill health Mrs Williams made a public appearance at the 24th anniversary of the Hillsborough on Monday.
The new inquest process is due to start next week on Thursday 25 April.
Following the announcement of her death, tributes flooded in from football clubs and fans alike.
In a statement Steve Rotheram, MP for Liverpool Walton, praised her fight for truth and justice:
“Kevin’s last word before he died on the pitch at Hillsborough was “Mum”.
“Anne’s relentless pursuit of justice for her son personified the unyielding bond of a mother’s love for her child. She was an inspiration to thousands of women across Merseyside and Britain.”
Liverpool Football Club was this morning saddened to hear of the death of prominent Hillsborough campaigner Anne Williams. RIP Anne.
— Liverpool FC(@LFC) April 18, 2013
Mrs Williams was an early chairman of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and later independently established Hope For Hillsborough (For Justice) in an effort to secure a fresh inquest into her son’s death.
On three separate occasions, an appeal was made to the incumbent attorney general for a new inquest, only to be rebuffed three times.
The European Court of Human Rights also rejected the case in 2009.
The breakthrough was only achieved following the Hillsborough Independent Panel report last year.
She leaves behind two children, son Michael, 41, and daughter Sara, 33, and three grandchildren.