A grieving mother and father who have dedicated more than 25 years to fighting for justice for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster have collected CBEs from the Queen.
Margaret Aspinall’s son James, 18, and Trevor Hicks’s daughters Sarah, 19, and Victoria, 15, were among the 96 Liverpool fans who were killed in Britain’s worst sporting disaster at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground.
They stepped away from the long-awaited fresh inquests into their deaths to accept the honour at Buckingham Palace.
After receiving her award, Ms Aspinall said the Queen had spoken to her about the tragedy.
She said: “It is quite obvious that she knew about Hillsborough because she did say ‘Things are better for you all now, hopefully? Things are looking a little bit different now’.
“I know she cannot say much about it, I just said yes.”
Mr Hicks said it had been a day of ‘mixed emotions’.
He said: “It is the first time I have got something that I would rather not have had, for obvious reasons, but I am extremely proud to be here”.
Ms Aspinall, who chairs the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG), and Mr Hicks, who is president of the group, have been honoured for their services to the bereaved Hillsborough families.
They have been the driving force in the lengthy legal battle against the British establishment which saw the accidental death verdicts in the previous Hillsborough inquests being quashed and a new hearing ordered.
They were among 70 people receiving their awards at the central London ceremony today.
It has now nearly a year since the long-awaited fresh inquests into the deaths of the 96 Liverpool fans football killed in the Hillsborough disaster began.
Britain’s worst sporting disaster happened on April 15, 1989 during Liverpool’s FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest as fans were crushed on the ground’s Leppings Lane terrace.
Verdicts of accidental death from the original Hillsborough inquest in March 1991 were quashed in December 2012, after the Hillsborough Independent Panel delivered its final report on the disaster earlier that year.