Hillsborough disaster claims 97th victim as Andrew Devine dies from his injuries

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Ninety-seven Liverpool fans were killed by the crush during the FA Cup semi-final - GETTY IMAGES
Ninety-seven Liverpool fans were killed by the crush during the FA Cup semi-final - GETTY IMAGES

The Hillsborough disaster has claimed its 97th victim after a man left with life-changing injuries as a result of the crush died at the age of 55.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the family of Andrew Devine, 55, said he died on Tuesday, 32 years after he was badly hurt in the tragedy at the FA Cup semi-final on April 15 1989.

They said: "Our collective devastation is overwhelming but so too is the realisation that we were blessed to have had Andrew with us for 32 years since the Hillsborough tragedy."

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.

A coroner’s inquest ruled on Wednesday that he was unlawfully killed as a result of the disaster, according to the Liverpool Echo.

Mr Devine’s chest was crushed and his brain became deprived of oxygen in the crush. The disaster left him wheelchair-bound and unable to speak.

Andrew Devine, pictured in 1996, died on Tuesday aged 55 - PA
Andrew Devine, pictured in 1996, died on Tuesday aged 55 - PA

His family said yesterday: “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 April 15, 1989.

“In the intervening years, Andrew has been a much loved son, brother and uncle. He has been supported by his family and a team of dedicated carers, all of whom devoted themselves to him.”

A statement from the football club said they were "deeply saddened" by his death.

A spokesman said: "A lifelong Liverpool supporter, Andrew continued to attend matches at Anfield when possible despite suffering life-changing injuries at Hillsborough on April 15 1989.

"In doing so he defied expectations that he would not survive for six months after the tragedy."

The spokesman added: "The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Andrew's family and his carers."

Margaret Thatcher visited the stadium after the disaster in April 1989 - PA
Margaret Thatcher visited the stadium after the disaster in April 1989 - PA

In 2016, an inquest jury ruled 96 Liverpool fans had been unlawfully killed in the Hillsborough disaster.

Match commander David Duckenfield was cleared of gross negligence manslaughter at a retrial in November 2019, after the jury in his first trial was unable to reach a verdict.

Earlier this year, the trial of retired police officers Donald Denton and Alan Foster and former force solicitor Peter Metcalf, who were accused of perverting the course of justice following the disaster, collapsed after a judge ruled there was no case to answer.

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