Rainhill High School today gave a VIP welcome to Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group.
Margaret, whose 18-year-old son James was one of the 96 Liverpool FC fans who died on that fateful day in 1989, was invited to speak to students about her long struggle for justice. Students heard how Margaret, who was aged 41 when James was killed, fought for decades to have the original, controversial ‘accidental death’ verdicts overturned.
In 2009 the government eventually set up the Hillsborough Independent Panel to review documents relating to the disaster and in 2012 – 23 years after the disaster – bereaved family members like Margaret finally saw the ‘accidental death’ verdicts quashed and a fresh hearing announced.
In 2016, following an inquest lasting more than two years, the jury found that James Aspinall and 95 others had been unlawfully killed. A criminal investigation is ongoing.
Rainhill High School Executive Principal, John Pout, said:
“I feel privileged and humbled to have been able to welcome Margaret to our school today. Our pupils have heard a story of courage in the face of adversity, of determination to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, and it is something they will never forget. Margaret has given them an invaluable lesson in life.”
In 2016 Margaret Aspinall accepted a ‘Woman of the Year’ award from Prime Minister Theresa May on behalf of families of the 96 victims. She was accompanied at Rainhill by fellow campaigner Sue Roberts, whose brother Graham also died at Hillsborough.