A Liverpool fan who was left severely brain damaged in the Hillsborough tragedy has become its 97th victim. Andrew Devine, 55, died on Tuesday, 32 years after he was badly hurt in the disaster at the FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989.
Mr Devine was training for a career in accountancy when he was crushed in the crowd at Hillsborough and starved of oxygen, with doctors initially saying he was unlikely to survive the day.
Mr Devine was described by his family as a “much-loved son, brother and uncle” who had been supported by his family and a team of dedicated carers.
“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,” the family said.
“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.”
Mr Devine was honoured by the team in 2019 when it won the European Champions League and the victory bus stopped outside his house.
A statement from Liverpool FC said they were “deeply saddened” by his death.
“A lifelong Liverpool supporter, Andrew continued to attend matches at Anfield when possible despite suffering life-changing injuries at Hillsborough on April 15 1989,” a spokesman said.
“In doing so he defied expectations that he would not survive for six months after the tragedy.”
“The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Andrew’s family and his carers,” he added.
The family said: “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.”
In 2016, an inquest jury ruled the Liverpool fans had been unlawfully killed in the Hillsborough disaster.
Match commander David Duckenfield was cleared of gross negligence manslaughter at a retrial in November 2019, after the jury in his first trial was unable to reach a verdict.
Earlier this year, the trial of retired police officers Donald Denton and Alan Foster and former force solicitor Peter Metcalf, who were accused of perverting the course of justice following the disaster, collapsed after a judge ruled there was no case to answer.
The 2016 inquest was a turning point in the official response to the disaster, which had largely blamed the fans for the disaster.