This weekend I will spend the significant majority of my waking time on football. Watching, coaching, managing, playing, reading, writing, talking, thinking and dreaming. Football is my passion but it’s not my life.
Deep down even Bill knew that there are some things that are more important than football. Life. Death. Family. Friends. Truth. Justice. 6 things more important than football and 6 words that sum up this week better than any. I’m going to add one more to the list because to me it is the word that sums up this particular week in this particular year better than any. It was the final word of a 15 year old boy who went to a football match and never came home.
The person who refused to buckle under the weight of the authorities.
The person who acted in a determined and dignified manner in the face of lies and provocation.
The person who fought for the rest of her life to find out the truth of what happened to her baby and for justice to be delivered.
That was Kevin’s mum but it could have been the mum of another 15 year old boy. On Monday I received a text, it read “Good night son, I was lucky that day xx.”
You see I had been warned beforehand by an Evertonian. Don’t stand behind the goal, you’ll get crushed. Go through the tunnel and turn left or right. That was easier said than done. The tiny (and I mean tiny) gate to the right was not obvious and the middle pen was already busy. I had a good spec right behind the goal and said to my mate we’ll stay here. No. He spotted the gate and said let’s go through there. We did….
And so this weekend I will take some time out of daydreaming about football and spend it with my mum. If you can you should too. If you can’t be with her, do what you can. Ring her, text her or think about her. Do it for your mum and do it for Anne because you never know what is round the corner. For the first time in 24 years Kevin will be spending the weekend with his mum.
The story of Kevin and Anne Williams has been written many times. If you don’t know it then you should. I could not do the story justice and so I won’t try. If you didn’t know it was real you might think it was a Hollywood film or a John Grisham novel. It is a tale of tragedy and triumph. It is the tale of a normal mum who took on the establishment and won. Despite Anne’s passing the story must not end. The fight goes on and efforts must be redoubled as there is a now gigantic hole to be filled. A hole the size of a mum.
RIP the 96.
RIP Anne Williams