Burnley survivor of Hillsborough disaster writes book

SURVIVOR: Chris Whittle
SURVIVOR: Chris Whittle

A SURVIVOR of the Hillsborough football stadium disaster has written a book about that devastating day and his subsequent battle to overcome his mental scars.

Chris Whittle suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder for years after he witnessed the terrible scenes in 1989 when 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives during an FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest.

Chris (50), of Beckenham Court, Burnley, has now published “With Hope in Your Heart” which he hopes will exorcise the demons of that fateful day and raise money for charity.

He said: “I was one of the lucky ones as I wasn’t seriously physically hurt on the day, but I have had to cope with the mental scars for years afterwards.

“I have wanted to write a book about it for a long time but it is only in the last year I have felt able.

“It is about my time as a Liverpool fan growing up, the day of Hillsborough and my subsequent illness. I hope the book, which I have self-published, will also raise some money for the Hillsborough Justice campaign and PTSD charities.”

Chris was in the Leppings Lane End stand at Hillsborough where the fatal crush happened and has only recently been able to start attending football matches again.

A Eucharistic minister at St John the Baptist RC Church, Ivy Street, he puts part of his recovery down to the support of friends from church and family.

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.”

“With Hope in Your Heart: A Hillsborough Survivor’s Story, The Denial of Justice and a Personal Battle With PTSD” is published by Bright Pen Books, at a cost of £7.99. It is available online at authorsonline.co.uk, through Amazon, and via the websites of the likes of Waterstones and WH Smith.