Mum's tribute to Hillsborough victim who had a great future ahead of him

The Bolton News: Colin Ashcroft' mum told the jury he had a great future ahead of him Colin Ashcroft' mum told the jury he had a great future ahead of him

THE family of Hillsborough victim Colin Ashcroft said the teenager had a great future ahead of him and is greatly missed by his family.

The 19-year-old headed to Hillsborough on a supporters coach as his mum was worried about him getting to the ground.

The former Green Lane pupil was born in Colchester weighing 4lb 3oz and had a number of health problems growing up including epilepsy.

Speaking during the inquest, Mum Janet Russell said: "It was six weeks before we could take Colin home from hospital and he was behind with his milestones.

"But once he started walking he made up for lost time."

The family moved to Golborne and Colin was assessed and initially sent to a mainstream school before the family moved to Birchwood and after struggling at school he was re-assessed and eventually moved to Green Lane in Padgate.

Mrs Russell, who was supported by her husband Keith and Colin's brother Gary during the statement, described her son as gregarious and said he made lots of friends in his new school and neighbourhood.

She added: "He had a great sense of humour and most adults found him charming.

"He did have a bad temper but it didn't last for long."

With an interest in politics, the jury heard Colin enjoyed watching Question Time and thought Margaret Thatcher was the 'best thing since sliced bread'.

He loved watching football and started off supporting Manchester United like his father and brother until his allegiances switched to Liverpool during a period of United not 'doing so well'.

"I think being Colin he wanted to be different from everyone else", Mrs Russell added.

"He was very loyal to Liverpool and loved to keep reminding his brother of the fact they were the best team in the land such was his sense of mischief."

After completing a course at Warrington tech college, Colin found a job through a Government training scheme helping gardeners at Padgate college.

At 18 he asked about watching Liverpool play at Anfield but his mum told the inquest she was dubious and told Colin if he saved up for a season ticket he could go.

She added: "He was determined to go and see his team play and saved the required amount.

"When Liverpool got through to the semi final naturally he was keen to go and by then he had been going for a year.

"I was worried but didn't want to stand in his way. "

She added she was happier to know he would be taken directly to the ground with other fans on the coach and decided he wanted to be behind the goal for the game.

She added: "He was a well liked, mostly cheerful, well-rounded young man who overcame his difficulties to be as independent as he was able.

"He was becoming thoughtful about other people and much more level headed and had a great future ahead of him.

"He is greatly missed by his family."

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