TWENTY-five years after their son left Lechlade for an FA Cup tie at Hillsborough, Stan and Margaret Godwin will remember their son Derrick in a service at Anfield, Liverpool, today.
Nearly a week after reading a statement on Derrick at the Hillsborough Inquests in Warrington, Margaret and her family have travelled north west again for a grand service at Liverpool FC’s home.
Margaret, 75, of Hambidge Lane, accepts she is not able to travel to Merseyside as often as she and Stan might wish, but the anniversary memorial is one they will never miss, 24 years after their first.
“We don’t get to go to many matches, but our daughter Valerie is a season-ticket holder along with her husband Andrew,” she said.
“When Derrick died Valerie took Liverpool into her heart and since then she and Andrew have taken over from him, supporting the club in his memory.
“The longer it’s been since the disaster the more important it is for us to mix with the families because we’ve all lost someone.
“We don’t know that many of them. We are not able to go to as many of the family meetings as we would like to because you have to stay overnight and it has been hard with time off work in the past.
“It’s not easy, but obviously we wouldn’t miss the anniversary.”
Scarves from every club in the top four divisions of the English league will create a number 96 at Anfield as a sign of unity, the club has said.
The service at Anfield will see club officials, players and staff join with the relatives of those who died. Former players and managers and members of the wider Liverpool community will also be present.
The service will feature readings from both Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and Everton boss Roberto Martinez.
The scarves, which will also include items from clubs around the world and those of the England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales national teams, were donated following an appeal by the club.
“It’s quite a big event, there will be lots of people there. On the 20th anniversary there were 30,000 people there,” said Margaret. “We are asked into the club lounges and called out, family by family, to sit in front of The Kop for the ceremony.
“It will be the usual practice: Abide with Me and You’ll Never Walk Alone will be sung. The atmosphere will be like Sunday’s match, which was astonishing.
“It seems the whole country and even the world knows what it’s all about. It does help make you feel as though they are with you and going through it together.”