Wirral coastal walk to remember the 97 and raise awareness of Hillsborough Law

A walk will be taking place around the Wirral coast on 15 April to remember the 97 victims of the Hillsborough football disaster and to celebrate the achievement of the community of Merseyside and beyond in its struggle for truth, Justice, and accountability.

birkenhead.news spoke to Steve Kelly, who has organised the walk. Steve’s brother, Michael, was one of the victims of the disaster.

Steve told us, “I have arranged this walk with family members, survivors of the day, and also supporters of the campaign throughout the years.

“We are aware that the people affected are no longer having a service at the Anfield stadium and will gather together to reflect, and support each other in a solidarity that was and is unbreakable.”

The walk starts at 9am on 15 April and will follow the beautiful Wirral coastline, starting at Wirral Country Park at Thurstaston, and winding its way through West Kirby, Meols to New Brighton and finishing at Wallasey Town Hall around 2.30pm.

Steve continued, “I remember very well the evening the victims received the freedom of the Borough. It was such a wonderful and respectful occasion and I just hoped to pass on our thanks through this small gesture to the people of Wirral and allow the community to gather once again after the recent periods of lock-down.”

Steve is keen to also look forward and in an effort to try and ensure this type of incident is challenged in the future, he wishes to help introduce a Hillsborough Law.

This is a law that would give victims equal legal standing, an independent advocate to ensure all the facts are given to the courts for decision making, helping to save victims from suffering the enormous strain and wait for decisions made by obstructive governments and authoritative bodies as experienced by the families of the Hillsborough victims.

Steve added, “We must have a Hillsborough Law totally and not some Government-sponsored or watered-down version.

“Family members and survivors have fought too long and hard, ruining many lives in the process. For some the strain was too much to bear.

“This needs to be challenged for future generations. I hope it is our way of thanking every single person who supported the Hillsborough fight by making authorities think before they act or face the consequences of their actions without the added trauma of a thirty-three year wait.”

Wallasey resident Sue Roberts lost her brother Graham at Hillsborough and she is using her local knowledge of the coast and tides to help Steve plan a safe and enjoyable route.

Sue explained, “There used to be the memorial service Anfield every year. And now that doesn’t happen anymore, but some people still like to get together.

“So, the aim is for like-minded people, whether it be family members, survivors or just supporters, to be able to get together to do something together, maybe a bit of a challenge. But really, it’s just a way of remembering the 97.”

Steve hopes that people will join in with the walk, even if only for a short distance. He concluded by saying, “I hope people spot us on the way and ask what we are doing, join in for a mile or two, even meet at Wallasey Town Hall and stand with us as we read out the 97 names and observe 15.06.

“We have been a rock-solid community all these long hard years, let us come together again in support of each other, in support of a Hillsborough Law and in support of the 97.”

What is the Hillsborough Law?

A move to rebalance the scales of justice, based on four key pillars:

  • A charter for families bereaved through public tragedy legally binding on all public bodies.
  • A statutory duty of candour on all public servants during all forms of public enquiry and criminal investigation.
  • Proper participation of bereaved families at inquests through publicly funded legal representation and an end to near limitless legal spending by public bodies.
  • A public advocate to act for families of the deceased after major incidents.
Sue Roberts and Steve Kelly checking the route at New Brighton

Images: www.fotopiaimages.com

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