Grieving father meets officer

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THE moment grieving father Trevor Hicks – who lost both his daughters in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster – met the policeman who tried to save his daughter’s life will be broadcast on TV tonight.

Inside Out, on BBC One at 7.30pm, will show the moment Trevor, who lost Victoria, aged 15, and Sarah, 19, in the tragedy at Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium, met Peter McGuinness, who tried to save Victoria.

Trever lost 15-year-old

For the first time since the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, Trevor Hicks has met the policeman who tried to save his daughter’s life.

Trevor and Jenny Hicks lost both daughters in the Hillsborough disaster, 15-year-old Victoria and 19-year-old Sarah. Trevor has always blamed the police for his bereavement. But despite his anger and bitterness he wrote a letter in October 1989 to commend Peter McGuinness, the officer who tried in vain to save his youngest daughter Victoria.

A looming criminal inquiry and new inquests will force relatives to relive the horrors of that day in April 1989 afresh. It will reopen the bitter battle of blame between the police and the bereaved families.

Nearly 25 years on, BBC Inside Out tells the remarkable story of two men on opposite sides of the divide who are preparing to meet for the first time since the disaster.

Trevor Hicks said: “What he did was awful for him but I see it as being a hero for me and I need to say that publicly.”

“This is Trevor Hicks the father, the bereaved father meeting the man who happens to be, or in those days was PC McGuinness to thank him for what he did on that day and it’s as difficult and as simple as that.”

Talking about his feelings before the meeting at the Hillsborough Memorial Garden, Trevor Hicks said: “I’ve only been back to Hillsborough a couple of times and I still find it quite daunting really.”

“Trepidation, anticipation, all of the emotions really, I think it’s something that’s long overdue, so there’s an element of guilt that I should have done it sooner.”

Trevor told Peter: “Meeting you again, you were my personal hero but you also represent a lot of the on the beat bobbies who did a good job on the day. Some didn’t, some did, but that was what it was about really.”

Trevor said: “I didn’t see this as the two sides, South Yorkshire Police versus the families… I didn’t see it as that… I see this is me as an individual saying thank you to another individual who happened to be a young police officer on the day for what he did to help.”

Peter McGuinness said: “I did what a lot of police officers did on the day nothing more nothing less…you just try and do your best in harrowing circumstances.

“If I can bring one iota of comfort to a man who’s lost his daughters in those circumstances then it’s worth doing.”

Talking about the letter which Trevor wrote in 1989 to commend his actions, Peter said: “It’s always struck me as a measure of you really, that against the terrible backdrop and everything you were going to face then and the battle you were starting on, to take the time to write that and thank me, it wasn’t really needed.”

BBC Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and BBC Inside Out North West goes out Monday 18 February, BBC One, 7.30pm. Also available on the BBC iPlayer.