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When You Walk Through the Storm: The Hillsborough Disaster and One Mother's Quest for Justice [Paperback]

Anne Williams , Sean Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 Mar 1999

When You Walk Through the Storm is the moving story of Anne Williams, whose son Kevin died in the Hillsborough disaster in 1989. It is a remarkable personal account of a mother's determination to discover the true circumstances of her son's death on that tragic afternoon. She vividly relates the grief she felt when she realised Kevin wasn't coming home, followed by the anger she experienced on discovering that he could have been saved.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, controversy raged over who had been responsible for the events, and Anne describes her feelings towards those who, she felt, had blood on their hands. Finally, she became embroiled in a bitter fight for justice for her son.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (25 Mar 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840180676
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840180671
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 15.3 x 22.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 486,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

On April 15, 1989, 96 football fans tragically perished following events at Hillsborough. One of the Liverpool supporters to lose their life was 15-year-old Kevin Williams. In the years after that fateful day Anne Williams, Kevin's mother, has fought a long and often despairing battle to uncover the truth about the events of that day and the last hours of her son's life. Her story is inherently a sad and personal one and, as one would expect, much thought is given to the subject of bereavement and reflection on the unjust and nature of the tragedy. Yet Williams also has an individual story to tell and touches all the important points of the controversy which ensued.

The blame for the tragedy is not apportioned neatly, but is more than gently pushed in one direction. Williams points to the police force as the culprits. As Lord Justice Taylor's report pointed out, a number of gross errors of judgement were made. Nonetheless, as the evidence that the witnesses subsequently met by Williams show, it is hard to lay the responsibility at the door of members of a single group. One can only receive the impression that there were many who suffered in Sheffield that day from all the different groups involved. It is the testimony of the police officers, ambulance workers and members of the public involved which best portray the true horror of the events. Their sense of helplessness is apparent, as are the effects that day has had on them for the rest of their lives. Of course, for Wiiliams, the story is also a study on the often seemingly unfair nature of the British judicial system. She seems destined never to get the bottom of her struggle. Yet, convinced and apparently armed with evidence that Kevin's life could have been saved, her battle for justice continues. --Trevor Crowe

Book Description

The heartbreaking story of a mother who lost her son in the Hillsborough disaster and the long fight for justice that followed

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, emotional, frustrating, painful..... 13 Dec 2002
Format:Paperback
It is hard to put into words what you feel when reading this book. The pain and the anger when contemplating the real story of what happened that dreadful day is so apparent, yet the author, despite the difficult times she has endured, and is enduring, manages to bring to you exactly what emotions were felt by all involved and affected by the tragic events of April 15th.
It's the kind of book where you want to hand out copies to everyone you know to try and help them understand the pain that was suffered. Told in graphic detail, readers are left in no doubt as to the injustice felt by those involved and affected.
As painful as it is inspiring, this book is not only a must read for anyone affected by the events of that day, it is an essential eye-opener for all those who believe in the British Justice System, and gives a real insight into why so many people will not rest until they feel that justice is done for thier loved ones. Anne Williams manages to depict wonderfully what so many others are feeling. The anger, the frustration, the pain, and the feeling of being let down.
Please read this book, and it will become clear why the fight for justice for the victims at Hillsborough must be continued.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words Will Only Fail You 27 Feb 2007
Format:Paperback
As I say above, words can only fail when you attempt to sum up this book, because simply like the authorities, words cannot do justice.

Anne Williams is obviously a very brave woman, one that will take the fight to the end to reveal the truth to the world, truth that should be accepted by the world.

I was 19 when this disaster happened and am also a football fan, albeit on the other end of the scale to a club the size of Liverpool, I support a lower league club. I remember the day quite clearly, watching my home town team and then news filtered through via fans with radios that there had been a 'problem' in the Liverpool end at the semi final. 'Problem' turned out to be such an understatement.

I arrived home and saw the horrific scenes unfold on the news and it was deeply disturbing for myself who was merely a fellow football fan so god only knows what the victims where going through.

The book tells all really and I challenge anyone to get past the first one or two chapters without shedding a tear or at least having a aching throat through fighting back the tears, it really is heartwrenching, moving and just as much, it makes you filled with anger at the authorities and their lack of respect, courtesy and sympathy towards the people who had lost loved ones and also to the traumatised survivors.

The book also highlights the 'heros' that day, whom where ordinary folks who rolled up their sleeves and did what they could with absolute minimal of resources whilst others whom should have been more qualified to deal with these matters either froze or chose to do nothing.

As I said at the start, words cannot describe the contents of this book, with exception of the words of Anne and fellow contributors in this book, namely Debra Martin.

I recommend anyone with an interest in football or justice reads this book but ensure you have a glass of water and a box of tissues along side you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My heart broke for Anne Williams and her family when I read this book. She has been entirely honest about the depth and strength of her grief, her love for her son Kevin, and her struggle to win justice.

She selflessly reveals her personal memories of the horrific day itself, which is essential in driving home the impact of her loss. All too often, the victims of Hillsborough are lumped together as "the 96" - this book reminds us that each of these people were individuals, who had pretty ordinary lives, until a trip to a football match immortalised them for all the wrong reasons. Her reflective and warm recollection of Kevin reveals a typical 15 year old, who was entirely unique to those who knew and loved him.

The book tells not only of the tragedy itself - but the destructive legacy of subsequent court battles, media smear campaigns, ignorance and police coverups - as well as her family's obvious devastation and the eventual break down of her marriage.

As a mother myself, I have a tremendous amount of sympathy and admiration for Mrs Williams- she has had a horrendous legal battle in which the British justice system has failed her at every step. I'm not sure what avenues are still open to her, but I wish her all the luck in the world, and hope that this shambles of a government can do something to right the wrongs of Hillsborough - this book proves that the evidence is there - people have worked hard to uncover it, and it's about time it was recognised.
I'm sure that Kevin Williams would be very proud of his Mum for her beautiful tribute and her unending determination that the truth be acknowledged. A heartbreaking, but entirely necessary book by a courageous and valiant woman.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 6 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback
I have read a few books on Hillsborough and have recommended this one to everyone as one of THE pivotal books in the tragedy! It is all down to the time deadline set by the Coroner and one mum's struggle to obtain justice for her son. Really really moving and yes I cried in parts. Fantastic writing and just brought everything flooding back about that appalling day .......one I will never forget. JUSTICE FOR THE 96 from a die hard Leeds United fan.
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