Margaret Aspinall today paid a heartfelt tribute to Katy Jones - an investigative journalist who helped compile the Hillsborough Independent Panel report and died suddenly last Friday aged just 51.

A TV producer with more than 25 years' experience, Katy was a factual producer on Jimmy McGovern's hard-hitting 1996 'Hillsborough' drama-documentary, for which she won a BAFTA.

The mother-of-two also produced numerous other award-winning factual dramas.

In 2010, she was appointed to the Hillsborough Independent Panel - a body set up by the government to oversee the release of documents relating to the 1989 tragedy in which 96 children, men and women lost their lives.

Katy's tireless work as one of nine members of the panel led to the quashing of the original accidental death verdicts, and to the opening of new inquests into Hillsborough, which are currently being heard in Warrington.

Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, admitted she was deeply saddened upon being informed of Katy's sudden passing, and saluted the legacy she leaves behind.

"I was devastated when I heard the news," Aspinall said. "With what she achieved with the Hillsborough Independent Panel and also Jimmy McGovern, Katy became very close to quite a lot of us and meant so much to us.

"She did a great deal of research and spent a lot of time in Sheffield looking at the documentation. So much truth came out because of her and that helped not only the families, but the fans as well.

"We haven't achieved anything yet, but the legacy she's left behind is something for her family to be very, very proud of.

"She's going to be greatly missed, not only by her family, but also so many people.

"Katy will never, ever be forgotten by any of the families. We're proud and privileged to have known her."

To read more tributes to Katy from her colleagues and peers across the broadcast industry, click here.

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