Younger brother lost sight of altar boy, 15, in Hillsborough crush

Philip Steele, one of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Picture courtesy of the Liverpool Echo.
Philip Steele, one of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Picture courtesy of the Liverpool Echo.
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The younger brother of a 15-year-old altar boy killed in the Hillsborough disaster lost sight of him during the crush on the terraces, an inquest heard.

Philip Steele, who was an altar boy at St John Stone Church in Southport, was among the 96 Liverpool supporters who died at the FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989.

He had gone to the game with his parents, who were in a different area of the ground, and his brother Brian, who was 13 at the time.

Philip and Brian were on the Leppings Lane terrace and got to the ground around 2pm, going into Pen Three.

In a statement read to the new inquests in Warrington, Brian said he was parted from his brother in a crush just before kick-off.

He said: “It was as the players were coming out, or just prior to them coming out, that the first crush started.

“At this time Philip was with me. I was pushed towards the goal in this crush.

“I don’t know what happened to Philip and I didn’t see him after the first crush.

“I had to put my head up to breathe and all I could see was sky.”

Simon Donegan, a family friend, said he had seen both of the boys in the ground in the minutes before the crushing started.

He said the pair both seemed to be looking forward to the game when he spoke to them at around 2.45pm.

John Boyle, a nurse who attended the match as a spectator, went on to the pitch to try and help the injured after the match was called off just after kick-off.

He gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to Philip.

Mr Boyle said Philip was unconscious during the time he was with him and did not move of his own volition.

He said he spent around three to four minutes trying to revive Philip with the help of a St John Ambulance worker before they decided their resuscitation efforts were not effective and to try and treat other injured people.

Philip was taken to the Northern General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

His body was identified by his father Leslie at 10pm that night.

The inquests also heard evidence about the death of David Thomas, who was 23.

He had gone to the game with brothers Christopher and Kevin Traynor, who both also died in the disaster.

Footage was shown of him on the pitch at 3.26pm as attempts were made to resuscitate him.

David Evans, a nurse who was at the match as a spectator, was among those who tried to revive David.

He said a doctor and himself had asked for oxygen cylinders to assist in their treatment, but there were none available.

David was taken to the Northern General Hospital, where he was confirmed dead at 3.50pm. His body was identified by his father Henry the following day.

The inquests continue.