THE HILLSBOROUGH Disaster has claimed yet another life this week following news that Andrew Devine has passed away at the age of 55.
Devine, who suffered life-altering injuries after travelling to Sheffield to watch his beloved Liverpool take on Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup semi final on April 15, 1989, became the 97th victim of the disaster.
His family released the following statement:
"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.
"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.
"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."
A statement from the family of Andrew Devine:
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 28, 2021
Having been caught in the lethal crush, Devine, who was 22-years-old at the time, wasn't expected to survive the day after his chest was compressed to such a degree that his brain was deprived of oxygen.
After miraculously surviving the night, his parents were told he'd likely be dead within the next six months. Andrew was confined to a wheelchair, unable to speak and only able to eat puréed food.
A total of 94 people were killed and 765 were left injured when Liverpool fans were allowed by police to overcrowd the terraces inside Hillsborough Stadium.
As an estimated 5,000 supporters tried to rush through the turnstiles, officers decided to open a number of large gates to allow the fans inside, to avoid fatalities outside the ground.
Though fans became trapped between a surge of supporters behind them and the fencing that kept them away from the pitch, and it wasn't long before the crush barriers began to give way under the sheer weight of the supporters inside the pens.
Fans started to spill out onto the pitch in a desperate attempt to escape the crush, but other's weren't so lucky.
The tragedy claimed its 95th life days later, and another victim died in 1993.