THE daughter of a Liverpool football fan who died during the Hillsborough disaster has launched an appeal to trace a St John’s Ambulance worker who tried to save his life.
Charlotte Hennessy was six-years-old when her father James, a 29-year-old plasterer from Ellesmere Port, died in the tragedy.
She is now searching for the St John’s Ambulance worker who helped her father on the pitch in Sheffield, in the hope he will give evidence at the new inquests set to take place early next year.
The new hearings were ordered last year after the Hillsborough Independent Panel studied thousands of documents and reported there had been a cover-up of what happened at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground and its aftermath.
Ninety-six Liverpool fans were killed in a crush at the stadium on April 15, 1989, during the team’s FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.
Ms Hennessy, 31, said: “I have been going through all the St John’s Ambulance statements released by the Independent Panel to find information on what happened to my dad but there have been no leads.
“It’s really important we track him down because, until the Independent Panel report, we didn’t know at all how he’d got from pen three to the gymnasium.
“We want to have as much information as possible for inquests, as we’ve been told he was one of the 41 fans that could have been saved, and this man can confirm that he was alive after being pulled out of the terrace.
“We now know that my dad was tended to by a police officer at first and then, when he opened his eyes, a St John’s Ambulanceman arrived and together they gave him heart massage and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
“During the mouth-to-mouth, there was a distinctive incident that the St John’s Ambulance worker would not have forgotten.
“My dad was wearing a denim shirt with a pink t-shirt, 501 jeans and brown shoes. He had shoulder-length, wavy hair.
“I understand that 24 years is a long time and it may be difficult and traumatic for this person to come forward but there will be counselling and support available. We would be so grateful for any assistance.”
James Hennessy, had been working for Ellesmere Port and Neston council and was about to start his own plastering business when he died. He caught a bus to Sheffield on the day of the match with friends James Delaney and Brian Bickerstaff. Both Mr Delaney and Mr Hennessy suffered fatal traumatic asphyxia in the crush during the match.
A police constable attempted resuscitation as Mr Hennessy lay on the terraces behind the goal, and the officer’s collar number was written on James’s hand when his body was delivered to the gym.
Ms Hennessy is unhappy at the slow progress of the criminal investigations into the tragedy, as well as the appointment of Alison Saunders, who as an Attorney General Office advisor in 1996 ruled there was no evidence supporting new inquests, to a role in charge of the Crown Prosecution Service.
She said: “The Independent Panel report was fantastic for the families in bringing the truth to light and exonerating the fans but since then it feels like people are still dragging their feet.”
She added: “I was a little girl when Hillsborough happened. Now I’m 31 and it tears my heart out to know that my three lovely sons should still have their grandfather around now, because his life could have been saved. Nothing can ever make up for that but I’m determined to set the record straight about what happened to him.”
Anyone with information about the St John’s Ambulance worker should call Anna Williams on 0151 2271429 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.