A TORMENTED survivor of the Hillsborough stadium football disaster has decided to record his traumatic experience and subsequent battle with depression in a heart-rending book.
Chris Whittle, of Beckenham Court, Burnley, was among supporters at the FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest in 1989 when 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives.
Chris was in the Leppings Lane End stand where the fatal crush happened and, in subsequent years, has struggled to overcome what he believes is post-traumatic stress disorder.
Now the 50-year-old is trying to exorcise his demons further by recording his experiences of that terrible day, his subsequent fund-raising for a Hillsborough charity and the protracted legal battle.
He is raising money for the Justice for Kevin campaign. Kevin Williams was a 15-year-old boy who lost his life on that dreadful day, and whose mother Anne set up an online campaign to force through a new inquest.
He said: “There are still many questions that need answering. The Justice for Kevin campaign is one such cause.
“Anne has gathered 100,000 signatures on an e-petition which triggered a debate in Westminster Hall, which I attended last week.
“Anne wants the original coroner’s verdict of accidental death to be overturned. The legal fees are astronomical and I want to help her in any way I can.”
Chris even asked guests, including Anne, at his recent 50th birthday party at St John’s RC parish hall Ivy Street, to make a donation rather than buy him presents.
That raised £600 and Chris also completed a sponsored swim last year raising £300.
He added: “I struggled for many years after the disaster and doing things like the fund-raising and writing the book have helped me.
“I suffered flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks and low self-esteem. To this day I cannot go in a tunnel, even in a car. It has taken me this long to put down my experience in words but it has certainly helped me.”
Chris will also appear in a forthcoming television documentary and is hoping to get his story published. With Hope in Your Heart: A Hillsborough Survivor’s Story, The Denial of Justice and a Personal Battle With PTSD is currently for sale on Amazon for Kindle users.