Andrew Devine passed away at the age of 55 on Tuesday and had suffered life-changing injuries as a result of the crush at Hillsborough in 1989
A coroner has ruled that a 97th Liverpool supporter is the victim of the tragic events at Hillsborough in 1989 after Reds fan Andrew Devine sadly died on Tuesday at the age of 55.
Mr Devine attended the match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest which saw nearly 100 people lose their lives as the result of a crush due to overcrowding.
Although he made it out alive Mr Devine suffered life-changing injuries, and his family have released a statement following his death reporting the findings of the coroner.
“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,” it read.
“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.
“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.
“As ever, our thoughts are with all of those affected by Hillsborough.
“We would ask that our privacy is respected at this sad time.”
Liverpool added: “Liverpool Football Club is deeply saddened by the passing of Andrew Devine, who died yesterday at the age of 55.
“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.
“At an inquest held in Liverpool today, it was ruled that Andrew was unlawfully killed as a result of the disaster, providing a further tragic reminder of the toll that Hillsborough continues to take on all affected by it.
“The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Andrew’s family and his carers.
“It should also be noted that Andrew’s family have appealed for privacy and we would urge that this request is respected.”
Mr Devine’s family opened up about the impact of his injuries, which saw his chest crushed and his brain deprived of oxygen, in an interview with the Liverpool Echo in 2014.
His sister Wendy said: “There have been a lot of tears over the years, but we are lucky. Andrew survived, he is living at home with his mum and dad – and with 24-hour professional care – and is loved and cared for by his family. He is the centre of the family and the glue which holds us together.
“We are a tremendously close family and Andrew is a big part of that. A lot of families break apart, with family members living and working in different parts of the country, but we’ve remained together for Andrew.
“He had a big gang of mates and was very popular – he went to Dovedale Primary in Mossley Hill and the Blue Coat School. He was very much the outdoor type and would spend time with friends on a canal boat and riding his bike. He had a girlfriend and I think he would definitely have wanted kids. He was great with kids and still is.”
His brother Graham added: “Because he was the oldest, he was kind of in charge of the rest of us, after mum and dad. He loved his football and was an avid Red who followed them around Europe. And he also loved going fishing.”