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It's time to pass on the torch; TREVOR HICKS tells Paddy Shennan why,after 15 years,he's stepping down as chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group.

Byline: Paddy Shennan

IT WAS the last job in the world he wanted to do -but he has been doing it, with some considerable success,for 15 often troubled and traumatic years.

During that time, Trevor Hicks has been the figurehead and front man of an organisation of ordinary people who,in the space of a few terrible minutes, became united in unspeakable grief. And they continue to raise awareness and educate new generations of people about the unnatural disaster which befell their family members and must never be allowed to hap-pen again -while also finding time to raise money for various charities.

They have done and continue to do all this in the hope that there will one day be justice for the 96 football fans who, on April 15,1989, set off to watch a football match -but didn't comeback.

But,from the end of today, the Hillsborough Family Support Group will be doing that job with a new chairman: current vice- chairman and secretary Phil Hammond will officially take over from Trevor Hicks. Of his years there, Mr Hicks says: ``People forget -I'ma bereaved father. I lost all my children at Hillsborough''.

Trevor Hicks and his ex-wife,Jenny, who will now become secretary of the HFSG (she moved from the London area to Liverpool in 1991)lost their daughters Sarah,19,and Vicki,15,in the tragedy. The girls were buried in Liv- erpool. He added: ``I have tried to keep that separate and I have been criticised for that,but one of the many things I've learned is that, whatever you do, you will get criticised. In the main, though,I think I walk away knowing I'vedone my very best.'' Trevor, who now lives in Long Preston,near Settle,in Yorkshire,is the managing director of a firm in Keigh-ley. He says: ``I have devoted a large proportion of my life to Hillsborough. But I also have a business to run and I have a new partner.Inaddition, there's my age -I'llbe 58 in a month's time.

``Hillsborough will matter to me until the day I die. I just think that some fresh blood might be a good idea. I know the group will be in safehands.'' Looking back at 15 years ofcampaigning,he says: ``We have done an awful lot for football safety. Everyone who goes to a football match now knows they have decent seats and facilities.

``And we got two senior police officers into court through private prosecutions.'' Sarah should have celebrated her 34th birthday on April 10 and her sister, Vicki, should be looking forward to becoming 31 this July 20. ``We were just a nobody family and then, suddenly, that all changed.''

But what Trevor Hicks and everyone else who was bereaved on that day would give to be part of a nobody family once more ..


Trevor Hicks
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 15, 2004
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