Andrew Devine: 97th Hillsborough victim awarded Freedom of Liverpool

Andrew Devine’s family accepted the Freedom of Liverpool on his behalf at Liverpool Town Hall.

The Freedom of Liverpool has been posthumously awarded to Andrew Devine, the 97th victim of the Hillsborough disaster.

Andrew’s family, led by his mother Hilary, accepted the award at a private ceremony in Liverpool Town Hall on what would have been his 56th birthday.

Andrew was in the Leppings Lane terrace during the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest and passed away in July last year due to complications from life-changing injuries.

Andrew Divine’s family with Sir Kenny Dalglish, lord mayor of Liverpool, councillor Mary Rasmussen and metro mayor Steve Rotheram. Photo: LCC

Guests at the ceremony included Liverpool FC legend Sir Kenny Dalglish and screen writer Jimmy McGovern who has written numerous award-winning dramas including Hillsborough and Time, which won two BAFTA TV awards this month. He has also been given the Freedom of Liverpool.

Metro mayor and Hillsborough campaigner, Steve Rotheram, also attended the ceremony along with Liverpool FC chaplain Bill Bygroves.

Lord mayor of Liverpool, councillor Mary Rasmussen, led the ceremony and paid tribute to Andrew and the support his family gave him after the 1989 tragedy.

During the 2019 Liverpool FC Champions League victory parade, the team bus stopped outside the Devine family house so midfield star James Milner could show the trophy to Andrew.

Liverpool City Council conferred honorary Freedom of the City status on the 96 victims in September 2016, after the families were awarded the honour in 2009.

Andrew Devine, died aged 55 in July 2021, 32 years after the Hillsborough disaster.

The town hall ceremony finished with a rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone by Liverpool’s ‘Singer in Residence’ Danielle Thomas.

What has Andrew Devine’s family said about the award?

Andrew’s brother Graham said on behalf of the family: “The club gave a huge amount of support to Andrew, and mum and dad, behind the scenes and it was always a great comfort for the family to see how much they cared.

“The family also want to single out Tony Barrett, the head of club and supporter engagement, for his support over the years and particularly around Andrew’s funeral.

“We’re all very proud of Andrew and it’s very special to be here today on what would have been his 56th birthday to receive the Freedom of Liverpool on his behalf.”