Victoria Jane Hicks and Sarah Louise Hicks

Victoria Jane Hicks and Sarah Louise Hicks

Ages: 15 & 19

Sisters and Anfield season-ticket holders Victoria and Sarah Hicks drove to Hillsborough with their parents. Determined, and said to possess 'formidable strength of character', Vicki had ambitions of becoming a reporter. Described to the inquests as principled and compassionate, Sarah was reading Chemistry at the University of Liverpool. 

Their father Trevor told the court: "They were good girls; attractive and with promise, happy and full of purpose, but kind and considerate too." Their mother Jenni said: "You were two bright, beautiful, innocent young women." 

Portrait by Victoria and Sarah's father Trevor Hicks

Some family background: Jenni and I were both the eldest children of working class families from Teesside. We married on June 24, 1967.

Sarah Louise Hicks was born on April 20, 1970, which of course means that today would have been her 44th birthday. There were birth problems with Sarah, but everything ended well. She was beautiful and we were chuffed, and of course we were new parents.

Victoria Jane Hicks was born on July 20, 1973. Sarah, then just three, was delighted with her new sister, just as we were.

We were all at the 1988 semi-final at Hillsborough and went back in 1989, full of hope and aspiration of another trip to Wembley. Only Jenni and I made that trip to Wembley. Jenni and I divorced in 1991, again, as a result of Hillsborough.

Sarah was attractive, sociable and had a lovely disposition. She had a wide group of friends, loved life and seemed to take everything in her stride. In modern parlance, she was 'cool'.

She was especially true in her academic life, where she was extremely clever - a classic A-grade student.

She turned down a scholarship to Imperial in London and a place at Oxford, choosing instead to go to Liverpool University to read Chemistry. Haberdasher's, her school - and I - were less than impressed! Naturally gifted in Maths and all the sciences, Sarah had quite an impressive art portfolio, which in part accounted for her being undecided whether to pursue medicine, pharmacology or architecture as a career.

Liverpool offered a foundation course for the first year that allowed a switch during the degree course - hence the decision to go there was not as daft as I had first thought. She was loving life in Liverpool as an undergraduate, but of course she did not get to make the career choice.

As I said, Sarah was smart and streetwise, but she was also very gentle, very considerate and caring about the world and all its inhabitants, often showing compassion beyond her years. She loved the chance to assist her friends and strangers alike.

Haberdasher's ran a scheme where senior girls had an afternoon a week to visit lonely old people for tea and a chat. Many girls saw it as a chore, but Sarah loved her lady, and she often bought the biscuits from her own pocket money.

Despite her relaxed disposition, she was also quite principled. Once, we had a huge disagreement about private health insurance. I had renewed hers without discussing it with her, and I was firmly put in my place with the words, "I am 18 now and I can make my own decisions, thank you very much." That conversation ultimately broadened into how she knew she was very lucky and, to a certain degree, privileged.

She went on to say that once, when she was on the university bus from the Carnatic Halls of Residence to the laboratory blocks, she often saw kids on the street corners of Toxteth and added they were probably just as bright as her but had never been given the chances she had.

I am still in touch with a close friend of Sarah's, who is now a consulting paediatrician. She maintains she would never have made it through Haberdasher's and her exams were it not for Sarah.

Sarah would have made a great contribution to the world had she not died at Hillsborough.

Vicki was not as tall and slim as Sarah, but she was very much more image and fashion conscious. Attractive in a different way, Vicki had wonderful long, thick black hair that could be worn straight, curly, braided or plaited and always looked great. One of the things she hated was having had her teeth in braces for a couple of years.

Vicki had to live in Sarah's academic shadow, but she, too, was bright. She got into Haberdasher's on merit and had completed mock O-levels with good grades forecast. It was just a pity that she did not live to collect the certificate.

However, where she led Sarah was with a strength of character and determination that was scary at times, especially at an early age, when the apparent shyness, quiet voice and cute, almost angelic, appearance fooled many. But we all knew that Vicki didn't take prisoners.

Vicki was a lovely girl who could charm monkeys out of the tree, but if she had one fault, it was that she was a bad loser. Be it playing Snap, Monopoly or Snakes and Ladders, Vicki had to win.

I once borrowed a pound off her as I didn't have enough change to pay the milkman and, when I paid it back the next day, she asked where the interest was, and I had to pay it.

Another example of her determination was when she was determined to be a sports reporter. Using an old typewriter from the loft, she taught herself to type and secretly produced a match report in her bedroom after every trip to Anfield.

Many match reports were in that file, but no self-respecting editor could have ever used them because of the bias and blatant accusations, such as when, after a Tottenham Hotspur defeat, she wrote, "I'm not saying the referee was bent, but he went home on the Holsten bus" which obviously is the Tottenham Hotspur bus, for those who don't know. We never knew any of this until after her death, when we found this lever-arch folder full of these.

Vicki would have been so proud when Steve McMahon, who was her favourite Liverpool player, used some of her photographs of him and the team and one of her match reports in his autobiography book. He loved the one where she had written, "He is so good - I bet he could walk on water."

Vicki had inherited her mother's will and, once her mind was set, she was hard to shift. I remember when she was about four or five, we took her to the building society to open an account with the cash from her piggy bank.

It all went fine until she realised that 'her coins' would go into general circulation and not be kept in the bank, so she hung on to the money for dear life and it took lots of persuasion to eventually get her to part with it to open the account.

She had a bit of a tough guy image, but that was let down a bit when she always dived behind the sofa at the Dr Who theme music. She loved the programme, which the old ones will remember was even more scary in black and white, and the Dalek voices made her shudder, but she still insisted on watching it.

Vicki always said that "One day I'll have a Ferrari". I honestly believe she would have, if she had survived Hillsborough.

They were very different, maybe, but they were very much a pair. They had their arguments, but they would defend each other to the death - literally, as it turned out.

They did many, many things together, and their rooms were joined via an en suite bathroom that meant they could go from bedroom to bedroom unseen. That part of the house was theirs, with lots of teenage discussions (and I'm sure a lot of plotting).

A feminine enclave that was not readily opened to men, especially Dad. It retained their perfume for many weeks after their deaths.

The loss of a child is one of the worst things that can happen to a loving parent. Loss of all your children is devastating. It is not that two is twice as bad. It's that you lose everything: the present, the future and any purpose.

All our hopes and aspirations were in our children and our expectation was that they would do better, achieve more and build upon the start that we had striven so hard to give them.

The most difficult thing for me is the sheer waste of Sarah and Vicki's lives, of their talent and ability, but also their care and compassion for their fellow man.

Accuse me of rose-tinted spectacles, but they were good girls, attractive, and with promise; happy and full of purpose, but kind and considerate too.

We are justifiably proud of Sarah and Vicki. They lived together, they died together in horrific circumstances, supporting the team they loved; they are buried together. Need I say more? 


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Portrait by Victoria and Sarah's mother Jenni Hicks

I am speaking as the mother of Sarah and Victoria Hicks, and may I say the proud mother of Sarah and Victoria Hicks.

Sarah: I was 23 when I had you. I remember the midwife telling me I'd make all my mistakes on you and be a halfway decent mother by the time I had my second.

I remember being frightened to hold you in case you broke. I remember constantly checking you were still breathing.

I remember you as a toddler in your new red wellies, jumping in puddles. The bigger the splash the better.

At 18, you turned down Oxford and a scholarship to Imperial College, London, in favour of Liverpool, a city you had learned to love through following its football team.

I remember you going on the Bob Geldof march and coming home with your feet covered in blisters.

I remember those heated debates with your dad about unemployment, poverty, social justice, whatever. No longer the little girl in red wellies.

And, throughout it all, I remember the way you looked after Vicki.

You always, always looked after your little sister. Even at the very end.

Victoria: Thank God, Vicki, I'd had three years experience of motherhood before you came along. If anyone could turn a drama into a crisis, it was you.

Maybe that was due to the fact that you had a gifted older sister. It must have been very hard to follow in Sarah's footsteps.

I remember that night, a month before you died, when the geography teacher said that you could match Sarah's achievements. I saw you grow taller.

I remember the skirt you wore to Sunday School. You were told you couldn't wear one as short as that. Your answer was to stop going to Sunday School.

I remember when we had to attend Sarah's full-immersion baptism in 1986. It clashed with the World Cup final, so you stood at the back of the church with a radio glued to your ear.

You were football mad. You would sob when Liverpool lost. You were determined to be a sports reporter and we would hear you typing away, writing your match reports after every game.

You hid them away in the files under your bed and you would never let me read them. I did so only after you died.

Sarah and Vicki: You were two bright, beautiful, innocent young women. I left you as you went into a football ground and a few hours later you were dead. 


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You'll Never Walk Alone

Rest in Peace