Sister of Bromsgrove man who died at Hillsborough gives inquest statement (From Bromsgrove Advertiser)
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Sister of Bromsgrove man who died at Hillsborough gives inquest statement
4:40pm Wednesday 9th April 2014 in News
THE sister of the Bromsgrove man who died at the Hillsborough disaster has given an emotional statement about her brother at the new inquests.
Andrew Brookes was one of 96 fans who died at the Sheffield stadium that staged Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest in 1989.
Fresh inquests into the tragedy were ordered in 2012 after the High Court quashed the original accidental death verdicts.
Early in the new inquests jurors heard a series of pen portraits, a statement about each of the victims and the effect their deaths had on individual families.
This morning, (April 9), Andrew's sister, Louise, read out her statement at the Warrington inquest.
Jurors heard how Andrew was born in Bromsgrove in December 1962, the first child and only son of George and Gillian.
He worked at Land Rover's Longbridge plant with his dad and friends.
Ms Brookes said: "Andrew was a lovely man who I was and still am immensely proud to have as a brother.
"He had the patience of a saint and due to the nine years' age difference was more like a father than a brother to me."
Ms Brookes described him as a very strict, dignified man, who didn’t like any attention.
She said he was a very academic and sporty person who was manager of Sunday league team Bromsgrove Dynamo.
Ms Brookes said he had always been a Liverpool fan, and remembered his bedroom being covered in posters.
"His favourite television programmes were Brookside, Bread and Boys FromThe Black Stuff. He loved Liverpool - whether that was football or TV programmes."
She told the court Andrew was "the apple of my mum's eye" who had never been in trouble with the police.
"I remember my mum saying after he died that the only time Andrew ever brought the police was when they brought his clothes home in a plastic bag," Ms Brookes said.
"I can't honestly ever remember seeing him drunk. Andrew was brought up to respect the police.
"My parents always told us if we were ever in trouble they were there to help us. When he needed help they literally turned their backs on him."
Ms Brookes said Andrew died four weeks before her 18th birthday, and after his death the dynamics of their family changed.
She said: "Mum and dad never really recovered. Mum had a heart attack and succombed to cancer in 2000. Dad just shut himself away and he never went back to work."
"My dad passed away on March 4 this year after a five-and-a-half year battle with cancer. I only buried my dad 10 days before this inquest began.
"It makes me so angry that both my parents went to their graves before knowing how their son died.
"It is up to me alone to fight for my brother.
"I just want to do my brother proud and get him the justice he deserves."
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