Paul Brian Murray

Paul Brian Murray

Age: 14

Born in Stoke-on-Trent, schoolboy Paul Murray loved football and swimming and was a member of the church choir. Paul travelled to Hillsborough with his father Tony on a Liverpool Supporters' Club coach.

His mother, Edna, described the moment he received tickets to the match. "Paul leapt into the air, shouting, 'this has been the best day of my life'. He was excited that both he and his dad, Tony, were going to the match, especially because it was a semi-final." 

Portrait by his mother Edna Murray

Paul leapt into the air, shouting, 'this has been the best day of my life'.

The FA Cup semi-final tickets had finally arrived by post on his birthday on April 12, 1989. He was excited that both he and his dad, Tony, were going to the match, especially because it was a semi-final.

Paul Brian Murray was born in Stoke-on-Trent on April 12, 1975. He was a very content baby right from the start. He later attended Alexandra Infant School from the age of five and then went to Alexandra Junior School.

At school, he enjoyed all sports, but especially football and swimming. He was more keen than talented, but he always turned up on time with his kit and helped the teacher to get everything ready.

From the time that he was in junior school, everyone knew that his favourite team was Liverpool Football Club.

His love of the club was encouraged by his grandad, who was a Liverpudlian, and also his dad, who appreciated a good team. His favourite players were Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush and John Barnes.

Paul was a member of the church choir, where the vicar's son was also a Liverpool fan.

On prize-giving evenings at school, Paul would sit patiently, hoping against hope that he would get one of the awards, but it was never to be.

In September 1986, Paul moved to Sandon High School, where his older sister was already a student. He was really happy when he was picked to play in the school football and basketball teams. By then he had joined the food technology class and had started to enjoy cooking at home too.

Paul was really popular with his school friends and neighbours, young and old. After Paul died, the elderly lady who lived next door to us told us how he used to run down the hill where we lived to help carry her shopping home for her.

She also told us how he would sit on her garden wall and describe all the plants and flowers in her garden to her. The reason he would do this is because she was almost blind, and I guess this was his way of helping her to see the garden.

Unfortunately, we did not know any of this until after Paul died.

Paul also played football for a local 'lads and dads' team. He was a very popular team player and he always enjoyed playing with them and having the support of his dad there.

By the end of 1989, Paul's name was on several trophies. Both schools he attended had organised special awards in his honour and we were asked to present them to the winners.

We agreed as long as they were for the boy or girl who was most helpful, reliable, always smiling and a pleasure to have in school, someone such as Paul himself. The two trophies are still awarded to this day.

Paul often said 'I want to be famous'. In a strange way, his wish was granted in a small part of Stoke-on-Trent. 


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