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Liverpool museum unveils Hook’s Hillsborough tribute

Christian Hook and actress Sue Johnston all smiles yesterday at the unveiling of the unique portrait ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ at the Museum of Liverpool. Pic: Dave Jones.

‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, a portrait of UK actress Sue Johnston by Gibraltarian artist Christian Hook, was unveiled yesterday at the Museum of Liverpool.

Marking the anniversary of the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy the portrait is one of two items which are now part of the Museum of Liverpool’s collection in tribute to the Hillsborough campaign for justice.

Hook was moved by Johnston’s campaign and work with the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG) and first created the portrait in black and white and then completed it by using his feet whilst listen to the song. The unveiling attracted large media coverage.

Janet Dugdale, Director of the Museum of Liverpool, said they were proud to display two unique tributes commemorating both the lives lost at Hillsborough, as well as the incredible fortitude of the families in their campaign.

“From a painting of a much-loved celebrity by an internationally-recognised artist to a local woman’s lovingly created quilt, made with donations from the community, the two objects demonstrate the admiration the Hillsborough families have gained for their determination and commitment,” she said.

Hook, honoured and thrilled to have had another of his works selected to hang in a British gallery, was joined by his family at the unveiling yesterday afternoon. This is now his third work to be on permanent exhibition in UK art galleries.

Meanwhile the second item to enter the collection was a patchwork quilt made from donated football shirts and skilfully crafted by Merseyside woman, Linda Whitfield.

96 Liver Birds make up the quilt and represent the lives lost, with the children poignantly remembered by a smaller Liver Bird from a child's shirt. The quilt also includes each of the victims’ names, with those who went to the match together kept close together on the quilt.