Luis picks up award at LDSA dinner
The Liverpool Disabled Supporters' Association (LDSA) held their end-of-season dinner at Anfield on May 16 and Jeanette Dodd the LFC Supporters' Committee vice-chair was there in attendance.
Jeanette, who is also the disabled supporters' representative on the Committee, has been a member of the LDSA for over seven years.
"It was a great night," said Jeanette. "I voted for Luis Suarez as my Player of the Season and so did 94 per cent of LDSA members! Luis was clearly delighted to receive his award and it was lovely to meet him".
Suarez was relaxed and happy to spend time with the supporters, sign autographs and pose for photographs. Over a hundred LDSA members attended the event, and all seemed to enjoy the meal and entertainment, but in particular the presence of Liverpool's No.7!
The LDSA president for 2013, former Reds striker David Fairclough, also received an award. Later in the evening a raffle was held to raise funds for the LDSA. Some great prizes were on offer, including signed shirts, match tickets and LFC memorabilia.
The LFC Supporters' Committee donated a bottle of champagne to the LDSA raffle, which was won by Rachel Edwards. It was a double win for the Edwards family - Rachel scooped the bottle of fizz as her raffle prize, immediately followed by her son Ryan, who won a 3D picture of Suarez!
But it was Luis Suarez who got the best prize of all, the LDSA Player of the Season. The following day he posted on his Twitter page: "Yesterday I received the player of the year's award by the LDSA. I thank you for this award, I really do! Thank you very much to all of you!!"
Hillsborough: A personal reflection
Two members of the LFC Supporters' Committee, Jeanette Dodd (disabled supporters' representative) and Sam Armstrong (female fans representative) attended an event at Edge Hill University on Wednesday, April 17.
The first part of the evening was a talk by the Right Reverend James Jones entitled, 'Hillsborough: A Personal Reflection'. In the week which marked the 24th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy, Bishop James Jones gave a moving and personal reflection on his work as Chair of the Hillsborough Independent Panel.
Under the Bishop's leadership, the panel worked to achieve the maximum disclosure of documents relating to the worst stadium disaster in UK history. The Bishop spoke poignantly about leading the panel and the importance he placed upon representing the views of the families and survivors, so much so that the panel met with them on the first day.
Even a heart bypass operation in June 2011 did not deter the Bishop in his determination to uncover the truth, although the weight of expectation he felt undertaking the task was evident in his speech. He recalled how the sheer volume of documentation meant that he had to ask for more time to complete the work. Given what had occurred in the past, he worried that this could appear as yet another "stalling technique" to those who campaigned for justice.
Speaking softly to a hushed auditorium, he described the emotions of September 12, 2012, when the Hillsborough Independent Panel report was published and its findings revealed to the public. Again, the Bishop followed his instincts and informed the Hillsborough families, survivors and representatives first, before speaking to anyone else. Praising the dignity of the families and survivors and the hard work of his colleagues on the panel and the secretariat, the Bishop was modest in accepting any credit. There was little doubt, however, that his guidance and quiet dignity had not only gained him widespread respect but had also meant that no-one could doubt the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel. He concluded his talk with a minutes silence to remember the 96.
Bishop James Jones during his moving and reflective speech
The Bishop's lecture was followed by an exhibition of photographs taken by Peter Stevens during the Justice Tonight tour. The Justice Tonight band, formed in 2011 to raise awareness for the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, went on tour in the summer of 2012. Later the same year, along with some of the biggest names in pop music, the Justice Tonight Band recorded a cover of The Hollies' classic He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother to raise funds for the Hillsborough families' legal costs.
A series of photographs taken during the tour, on display in the University's Arts Centre, captured the energy, brotherhood and spirit of protest that made the Justice Tonight tour a collective musical statement of hope, solidarity and justice.
Jeanette Dodd and Sam Armstrong