Adam Edward Spearritt

Adam Edward Spearritt

Age: 14

Football-mad Adam Spearritt was attending his first away match watching his beloved Reds with his father Eddie and his friends.

Mother Janet said of Adam at the inquests: "He had a kind, caring and considerate nature. We all loved him dearly and he in return loved all of us, but more than that, he loved life itself."

Portrait by mother Janet Spearritt

Adam Edward Spearritt died on April 15, 1989 after becoming unconscious in his dad Eddie's arms.

Eddie also lost consciousness and woke up in hospital the next day to be told that the son he had tried so desperately hard to save was dead.

Adam was 14 years and 10 months old. It may seem odd to mention the 10 months, but for a life ended so soon every moment matters.

I could write a book about what Adam meant to us and the heartache his death and the Hillsborough tragedy caused, but for this purpose, suffice to say these few words.

He was our first child, born on June 13, 1974 at Liverpool Maternity Hospital. He opened up our hearts to the joys of being parents.

From the moment he learned to walk, he had a ball at his feet. He got tiny football boots for his third birthday and goalposts for his fourth.

At weekends, I would take him to watch his dad play football. One of the first sentences he spoke as a toddler was, 'Come on, Mickey lad, take it down the line', giving us such a laugh.

When our second son, Paul, was born some years later, his birth announcement in the Liverpool Echo read 'A second beautiful son, brother and goalkeeper for Adam'. And so he was, albeit not straight away.

We were lucky to have a large garden that Adam made good use of as a football pitch, tennis court, cricket pitch or mini golf course, learning to play these games first with his dad, or me when his dad was at work, his cousin Robert, who lived around the corner, his grandma when she came to stay - even the window cleaner or postman were invited to kick a ball with him and sometimes did.

When he wasn't outside playing football, he would be inside enjoying his Roy of the Rovers comics, filling in his Panini football sticker album or playing Subbuteo.

We have glued many a broken Barcelona, Real Madrid or Liverpool player back onto their bases, assembled a stand to sit tiny figures on, put together TV gantries and floodlights so that England could beat Brazil in the World Cup.

These items are now stored up in the attic, ironically alongside the many boxes and files containing 25 years' worth of transcripts, letters, newspaper articles and other matters relating to the disaster.

As Adam grew older, his passions centred on football and golf. I remember his dad telling me about a game of golf they played with two of his dad's friends, which reduced Adam to tears of laughter on the course because of their antics and pathetic attempts to play.

He was such a joy growing up, laughing a lot, telling jokes and doing impersonations. Even on the day he died, his dad said the drive across the Snake Pass to Sheffield was full of fun and laughter, again with the same two friends they played golf with.

At one point, one of the friends got out to go to a sweet shop and the driver played stop/start as he tried to get back in. Adam was helpless with laughter.

He loved school, first attending St Mary's Junior School and then on to Norton Priory. He was doing well, his school reports always saying what a polite, hard-working pupil he was.

Naturally, sport was one of his favourite subjects. He played for the school football team and also a local team, Bridge Athletic, making many friends along the way.

I recall attending a PTA meeting where the staff were discussing the school football team being in the final of the Cheshire Schools' competition and, of course, as a proud mum I stated that it was my son who scored the winning goal in the semi-final.

A teacher came up to me afterwards to introduce herself and tell me what a lovely student he was. This was shortly before he died. Adam never got to play in the final but his dad went and supported the team as they won.

He loved being on the Kop at Anfield watching Liverpool play. His heroes, of course, were Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen. Despite going to Anfield often, the Hillsborough match was his first away game.

Every year, a golf tournament is played in memory of Adam made up of his old school friends, his brothers, cousins, uncles and friends of his dad. Also, each year in Runcorn an U15s football tournament is played for the Adam Spearritt Memorial Cup.

Adam and his dad were friends as well as father and son and Eddie struggled to forgive himself for not saving Adam. He would say it was his job to protect Adam and he failed.

Sadly, Eddie died three years ago, without really knowing that his efforts in helping to fight for a new inquest were coming to fruition.

To everyone, Adam was just an ordinary boy, but to us, as every child is to their parents, he was extraordinary. He had a kind, caring and considerate nature. We all loved him dearly and he in return loved all of us, but more than that he loved life itself.


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