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Award for Hillsborough Mum

16 December 2013 by David Fleming

Picture of a cabinet contain

Some of the Hillsborough related objects on display at the Museum of Liverpool

I attended the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards on Sunday 15 December (my wife Alison is a BBC Trustee).
By far the best part was the award of the Helen Rollason Award to Hillsborough campaigner Anne Williams. There were shouts of “Justice” and the whole audience stood in tribute (which they hadn’t done for any award or ‘sports personality’ up to that point). Sue Johnston gave a very moving monologue that had the Leeds crowd enraptured.

What Anne Williams and other Hillsborough campaigners have shown is that you don’t have to be high status or high profile to make a difference, and that wrongdoers can be made accountable by ordinary people who are brave, and who can find their voice.

One of the problems with modern society, obsessed as it is with celebrity and status, is that many people seem to have no say in things. Well that’s not entirely true – we all do have a voice, it’s just that sometimes it’s hard to be heard.

Anne Williams and the Hillsborough campaigners have shown what can happen when people find their voice. She and they insisted they be heard, and eventually they were.

It’s an outrage that being heard took so long, but last night’s award in front of a national audience of many millions, was proof that we all have to try to find the courage to stand up and be counted when we believe something is wrong. Justice for the 96.

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