England

Hillsborough stories: Barry Sidney Bennett

Barry Bennett Image copyright Hillsborough Inquests

A divorced seaman from Liverpool, Barry Bennett travelled to the match by car with four friends, who all survived.

This is the full statement to the inquests from his brother, Philip Bennett:

Barry Sidney Bennett was born at our grandparents' home at Anfield on 26 April, 1962. The midwife came to the house and suddenly I had a younger brother.

I was two-years-old and was downstairs when Barry was born. He was the youngest of two sons.

Both Barry and I went to school in Aintree at Aintree Davenhill and later attended Ormonde High School.

We were very close as kids but we parted when I went to senior school, being two years older.

When Barry came to the same school, I was third year and he was first.

'Hole in one'

Barry loved all kinds of sport and, as he got older, he became more and more interested in golf and became quite good at it.

In 1984, he got a hole in one at the local golf club and became a member of the exclusive 'Hole in One Club'. We have still got the certificate for his achievement.

He also loved watching golf and, as kids, we used to play golf and cricket and tennis together.

Barry also loved playing football and managed to get into a number of school teams, both in primary and secondary school.

However, because the school was a mixed school, he became more interested in girls around the third year and the football team soon became a meaningless distraction. He treated school as a social club where he had all his mates.

'Adventure at sea'

Barry was always destined to follow our father, working at the Alexander Towing Company in Liverpool on the tugs.

Whilst waiting for his chance to work there, he did a couple of smaller jobs in warehouses until he became old enough to serve on the tugs.

He wanted the adventure of deep sea tugs and to achieve this he enrolled on a first mates course and catering at Riversdale College.

On one occasion, when he was working, Barry received a letter of commendation from the Alexander Towing Company for his actions on board a tug vessel.

We all feel in our family, if we had lost him at sea, there would have been an acceptance.

'Very caring'

Our family supported Liverpool Football Club. It was therefore inevitable Barry would, too.

Outside of work, Barry was a very caring person who always had time for family and friends and would help them out in any way he could.

An example: when I first moved to London in 1988 for work, I was struggling to furnish my new flat because I had spent every penny I had to buy it. Barry came to my rescue and bought me all my bedroom furniture as a gift because he had cash at the time and I didn't.

That was the kind of person he was, loyal and loving to his family and friends at all times.

He would have been a great and fantastic uncle to my kids, Matthew and Kirsten. And besides being my brother, he was also his mother's son.

Barry is missed by all those who were lucky enough to know him and I hope this new inquest will do him justice.

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