Andrew Devine ‘defied expectations that he would not survive for six months after the tragedy’
A Liverpool FC fan who suffered life-changing injuries at Hillsborough has died, 32 years on, with a coroner recording him as the 97th victim of the disaster.
Andrew Devine, 55, was badly hurt in the tragedy at the FA Cup semi-final on 15 April 1989. He spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair and needed constant professional care.
“It is with great sadness and a sense of immense loss that we can confirm that Andrew Devine passed away yesterday at the premature age of 55,” his family said in a statement released on Wednesday night through Liverpool FC.
“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.”
The family was told Mr Devine would not survive after his chest was crushed and his brain deprived of oxygen in the lethal crush that saw 96 fellow supporters killed in Britain’s worst ever sporting disaster.
“In the intervening years, Andrew has been a much loved son, brother and uncle,” the family said.
“He has been supported by his family and a team of dedicated carers, all of whom devoted themselves to him.”
The statement 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 April 15, 1989.”
When Liverpool won the Champions League in 2019, Liverpool star James Milner paused the team’s open top bus parade outside his house so that he could show him the trophy.
“Andrew continued to attend matches at Anfield when possible,” the club said. “In doing so he defied expectations that he would not survive for six months after the tragedy.”
The club said the coroner’s ruling provides “a further tragic reminder of the toll that Hillsborough continues to take on all affected by it”.