Andy Burnham: Mayor of Manchester

Andy, gave us this memory when he was the MP for Leigh. In Andy's political career to date he held various senior cabinet posts in the Labour Government including Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, and Secretary of State for Health. 

In his role as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Andy Burnham attended Anfield for the 20th anniversary service of the Hillsborough disaster. In addressing the crowd of 30,000, one voice called out 'Justice for the 96'. This was soon joined by the whole stadium. It became a seminal moment in the long fight for justice by the families of those killed in the tragedy.

Soon after, announcement was made that there would be full disclosure of public documents relating to Hillsborough. This was the first step on a journey to establish the truth behind what happened on the 15th April 1989, culminating on the 26th April 2016 in the inquest verdict that found the 96 had occurred as a result of unlawful killing. Andy Burnham making a powerful speech the following day calling for those responsible to be held to account.

Football has always been his first love, having been raised in a family of Evertonians, his loyalty lies with the Toffees, however, as a youngster, during a particularly lean spell for the Goodison Park club, Andy's older brother persuaded him to head along to watch his local Rugby League club, Leigh.

"My brother and I headed off on the 587 bus from Culcheth to the old Hilton Park Stadium. The ground was absolutely packed out to see a team that was at the top of its game. Des Drummond was flying down the wing, John Woods was like a mighty oak at the centre of the pitch and I think Tommy Martyn was playing for us then too. I've vivid memories of following them that year, right up to the moment they clinched the championship and paraded around the pitch after winning it. "

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