A Sheffield student who died in the Hillsborough disaster was ‘a genuinely lovely human being full of joy with a zest of life’.
Joseph McCarthy was studying for a BA honours in business studies at Sheffield University when he was one of 96 Liverpool football fans killed in the crush at Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium in April 1989.
Details of his life were read to the Hillsborough inquests jury in Warrington yesterday by his cousin, Anthony Goggins.
He said Joe, aged 21, who was from Ealing, West London, was a keen sportsman who had captained his school football team and led them to victory in the local cup.
He also won the British Amateur Gymnastics award for his age group.
Mr Goggins said Joe did well at school and was popular with the other students. As well as being on the cricket and football teams he was a school prefect and chairman of the debating society.
He loved to travel and was also interested in fashion – taking an interest in French and Italian fashion houses.
Mr Goggins said he went to live with Joe’s family when he was 17 and they became firm friends, sharing interests in football and music.
He said: “Joe was one of life’s good guys. He was a genuinely lovely human being, full of joy with a zest for life. “We all miss him.”
Joseph was president of Sorby hall of residence in Endcliffe at the time he died.
After his death a room at the hall, which has since been demolished, was renamed after him.
The jury also heard about the life of 18-year-old Paul Clark, from Swanwick, Derbyshire.
The tribute was read by his dad Ken, who said Paul was a ‘lovely young man’ who was good-natured, fun-loving and caring with a great personality, sense of humour and wonderful smile.
He said one year the family bought Paul a gold BMX.
Mr Clark said: “We still have the bike, we never felt able to let it go.”
He said football was a passion he and Paul shared and he had passed his love of Liverpool FC on to his son.
He said one year, when asked what he wanted for Christmas, Paul asked for Liverpool curtains, rug, lamp and bedspread.
He said Paul’s friends still met every year on April 15 – the anniversary of the disaster – to remember him and lay flowers on his grave.
Ken said: “He celebrated his 18th birthday just a month before Hillsborough.
“He was dearly loved by his family and friends.
“He was happy and full of life and had a bright future ahead of him.”
Pen portraits were also read to the jury about the lives of Martin Wild, aged 29, from New Mills, Derbyshire; 29-year-old Anthony Kelly, from Rock Ferry, The Wirral; Paul Carlile, 19, from Kirkby, Merseyside; 31-year-old Stephen Harrison, whose brother Gary also died in the tragedy and 18-year-olds Jonathan Owens, of Chester, and Christopher Devonside, from Formby, Merseyside.
The inquests continue.