HILLSBOROUGH: Sister's tribute to 'gentle and kind, intelligent and thoughtful' brother (From Wirral Globe)
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HILLSBOROUGH: Sister's tribute to 'gentle and kind, intelligent and thoughtful' brother
THE sister of a Wirral man who lost his life in the Hillsborough disaster said it felt like a light had been switched on when her brother entered a room.
Peter Burkett was one of 96 Liverpool fans who died in Britain's worst sporting disaster on April 15, 1989.
He was 24-years-old.
Speaking at the inquest today, Peter's sister Lesley Roberts said her brother was unique and "touched the hearts of all the people who knew and loved him".
The court heard that as children Peter and his brother Terry, who was 10 months younger then him, we're inseparable and would do everything together.
As they grew older, they would have countless discussions about football, with Peter supporting Liverpool and Terry following Everton.
When their parents divorced Peter moved to Anglesey with his mum and sister but returned to Rock Ferry a few years to live with his dad, who Mrs Roberts said was his best friend, as well as his father.
He attended Rock Ferry High School and was a bright student who was very popular.
He loved football and before his passion for Liverpool fully set in, was also a supporter of Tranmere Rovers.
Peter lived with his dad and brother Terry in Rock Ferry until he remarried, with Peter then buying his own home in Singleton Avenue.
He met Michelle in 1984 and the pair married in 1986 at St Joseph's Catholic Church in Tranmere. They never had children and Mrs Roberts said the marriage did not work.
After they separated, Peter and Michelle remained friends. Mrs Roberts said: "In November, 1988, five months before the Hillsborough disaster both my big brothers Peter and Terry walked me down the aisle on my wedding day.
"Without a doubt Peter was the star of the day."
The court heard that four days after her wedding, Mrs Roberts moved to Germany with her new husband.
She only saw her brother once mire before he died. "It was hard not to love Peter," said Mrs Roberts.
"He loved all of his family and we all loved him.
"Peter rose above all challenges that life threw at him. He chose to be the best person he could be and see the best in all those around him."
Mrs Roberts also read comments from younger brother Michael, who was eight when Peter died.
He said: "I think of my brother every day and I only wish I had more memories of him."
Mrs Roberts told the court: "If you search the world a million times you will never find anyone quite like Peter - to us he was unique."
She described her brother as "gentle and kind, intelligent and thoughtful" and said he was so "full of life", funny and charming.
Mrs Roberts added: "When he walked into a room it would feel like somebody had switched a light on and everything was instantly brighter.
"When he smiled it warmed your body through to your soul.
"He made you feel special, in reality he was the special one.
"Over the last 25 years as a family we have chosen to remember Peter privately but he is always in our thoughts.
"We are so proud of who Peter was and so lucky to have known him.
"He is sadly missed but will live on in our hearts forever."
The new inquest into Britain's worst sporting disaster began last month and resumed this week following a break for the 25th anniversary of the tragedy.
They are taking place at Birchwood Park in Warrington and are being heard by Court of Appeal judge Lord Justice Goldring, who has been made an assistant coroner for the purpose.
The original accidental deaths verdicts in 1991 were quashed in the High Court in 2012 after a long campaign by the Hillsborough families.
Twelve of those who lost their lives in the disaster were from Wirral and Ellesmere Port.
They were: Peter Burkett, 24, Rock Ferry.
Ray Chapman, 50, Prenton.
James Delaney, 19, Ellesmere Port.
Christopher Edwards, 29, Ellesmere Port.
Thomas "Steve" Fox, 21, Birkenhead.
James Hennessy, 29, Ellesmere Port.
Arthur Horrocks, 41, Bebington.
Anthony Kelly, 29, Rock Ferry.
Graham Roberts, 24, Wallasey.
Dave Thomas, 23, Higher Tranmere.
Chris Traynor, 26, Birkenhead.
Kevin Traynor, 16, Birkenhead.
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