A CHESTER mother who fought for more than two decades to uncover the truth about her son’s death in the Hillsborough Disaster had her achievements recognised at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year Awards.
Anne Williams, 62, formerly of Newton, was posthumously awarded the Helen Rollason Award at the glittering celebration of sport in Leeds on Sunday night, watched by millions live on the BBC.
She was recognised for her tireless campaign for justice for her 15-year-old son Kevin, one of the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the disaster in April 1989 at Hillsborough, Sheffield.
Mrs Williams’ son Michael, daughter Sara and brother, Danny Gordon accepted the award in her honour. It is presented annually as part of the ceremony each December for ‘outstanding achievement in the face of adversity’.
Accepting the award from former Liverpool captain Alan Hansen, Mr Gordon said: “We would like to thank all involved for making this prestigious award to Anne and for recognising her courage and tenacity in her fight for justice for Kevin, the other 95 victims and the heroic survivors, many of who helped others while in need of help themselves.
“On behalf of Anne we would like to dedicate this award to all of them and all those who helped and supported Anne through her tireless campaign, with a special mention to John Glover who also sadly passed away this year.
“It is so sad she can’t be here with us today because without Anne and her supporters the campaign for justice would not be where it is today.
“Anne was such an easy person to like and an even easier person to love, she is missed by so many but while she is in our hearts and minds we will never walk alone.”
The 12,000 audience at Leeds Arena gave a standing ovation to Mrs Williams, who died of bowel cancer in April, following Liverpool actress Sue Johnston’s emotional tribute recalling the fight for justice.
The Royle Family and Coronation Street star told the audience: “Who could ever hope to find the truth? The fearless Anne Williams, who never heard the doors to the truth being shut in her face.
“What she heard was the last word of her dying son – ‘mum’.”
Mrs Williams’ fight began when she disputed the original coroner’s ruling stating Kevin had died accidentally.
She refused to collect his death certificate and, thanks to her tireless campaigning, saw fresh inquests ordered into the deaths of the 96 fans, which will be opened in March.