A leading campaigner in the fight for justice after the Hillsborough disaster has lost her battle with cancer.
Anne Williams, who has died aged 62, lost her 15-year-old son Kevin in the tragedy in 1989 in which 96 Liverpool supporters were killed.
Mrs Williams’s battle to get her son’s inquest verdict of accidental death overturned was credited with leading to fresh hearings for all the victims.
The campaigner was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer last October but continued with her legal fight.
She defied doctors’ expectations by making her last public appearance at the Hillsborough memorial service at Anfield on Monday.
Mrs Williams was chair of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and later established Hope for Hillsborough as she fought tirelessly to secure a fresh inquest.
Three separate appeals were made to the attorney general but were rebuffed. The European Court of Human Rights also rejected the case in 2009.
But a breakthrough happened after the Hillsborough Independent Panel report last year and in December Attorney General Dominic Grieve gave the go-ahead.
Despite her illness, Mrs Williams was at the hearing at London’s Royal Courts of Justice when the original inquest verdicts were quashed.
At the time, she said: “It’s been worth it. I was never going to give up. I know what happened to Kevin and I want them to put the record straight, call new witnesses and tell the jury what happened to him.”
She added: “We’ve made history, haven’t we? We’ve got that verdict struck and everyone can know now that Hillsborough was not an accident.”
She also said she wanted a corporate manslaughter verdict, declaring: “It’s the least for what they have done.”
Mrs Williams missed out on seeing the start of the new inquest process by a week because a pre-inquest hearing to decide logistics will be held in London next Thursday.
Campaigners and figures from Liverpool were quick to pay tribute following her death.
Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev James Jones who chaired the Hillsborough Independent Panel, said: “Anne was a woman of remarkable courage and determination.
“She had a strength and an energy that flowed from her love for Kevin. She will go down in history as one of the key people who brought to light the truth of the Hillsborough tragedy.”
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson wrote on Twitter: “Terribly sad to hear about Anne Williams, an amazing and inspirational person. Her courage in the fight for justice is a lesson to us all.”
Maria Eagle, MP for Liverpool Garston and Halewood, added: “So very sorry to hear about Anne Williams. She was an incredible inspirational woman. #RIP.”
Liverpool FC posted a history of her campaign under the title “RIP Anne Williams – a true inspiration”.
It said: “Anne may not have survived to see ultimate justice for her son but her actions have played a significant part in ensuring that 96 families have moved closer to Hillsborough closure.”
The tribute added that going to the memorial service on Monday despite her illness “was an act so typical of a mum who simply refused to accept defeat”.
Mrs Williams leaves behind two children, son Michael, 41, and daughter Sara ,33, and three grandchildren.