Teenage victim slipped from friend’s grasp during Hillsborough crush

Philip Hammond, 14, who died at Hillsborough. (Pic courtesy of Liverpool Echo)
Philip Hammond, 14, who died at Hillsborough. (Pic courtesy of Liverpool Echo)
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One of the youngest victims of the Hillsborough disaster slipped from his friend’s grasp as they were crushed in the crowd.

The new inquests have heard 14-year-old Philip Hammond had been in position on the terraces at around 1.30pm, 90 minutes before the FA Cup semi-final was due to kick off.

Evidence from one of Philip’s friends who attended the game with him was read to the court.

Mark Preston said that by 2.30pm the crowd in the pen was unbearable and by 2.45pm they could not move.

He said: “I had a hold of Phil’s hand and at about 2.55pm, all you could hear from the crowd was ‘let us out’.

“About a minute after the game starting there was one hell of a big push from behind. I was holding Phil’s hand and with the force of the crowd pushing, Phil’s hand slipped from my grasp and he fell away.

“I did not see Phil after that.”

Mr Preston said: “Although I tried to keep hold of Philip’s hand, he slowly slipped out of my grasp, with the pressure of the crowd.”

Former police officer Stephen Taylor said he found Philip lying unconscious and carried him to an ambulance, where he attempted CPR. He said he thought he felt a pulse, while oxygen was given to Philip. Mr Taylor said another police officer drove the ambulance to hospital. Attempts were made to revive Philip at the Northern General Hospital but were unsuccessful.