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Holywell mum of Hillsborough victim calls for resignation over ‘hooliganism’ comments

Joan Hope

THE mother of an 18-year-old who died in the Hillsborough Disaster has called for the Culture Secretary to resign over his comments suggesting hooliganism played a part in the tragedy.

Joan Hope of Holywell, whose son John McBrien was among the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the 1989 tragedy, said she felt ‘physically sick’ when she heard Conservative politician Jeremy Hunt’s comments.

In an interview following England’s exit from the World Cup, Mr Hunt praised the behaviour of the England fans, saying the ‘terrible problems that we had in Heysel and Hillsborough in the 1980s seem now to be behind us’.

Mrs Hope said: “The last thing on earth John was was a hooligan. He was polite and well-mannered. He just enjoyed football. It makes me very angry and more determined to get justice.

“It’s disrespectful to the memories of the people who died that day.”

Mr Hunt has said sorry. But Mrs Hope added: “To apologise now is just no good. What he said was so hurtful. He has to resign.”

A public inquiry and subsequent Taylor Report named the official cause of the disaster as failure of police control. However, there have been no successful prosecutions.

An independent panel led by Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev James Jones, has been overseeing the release of documents regarding the disaster previously been made public.

Mrs Hope said: “I have been seeking justice for the past 21 years. I want an end to it but comments like this just bring everything back.”