THE daughter of a South Wirral man who lost his life in the Hillsborough disaster said she will always be a “daddy’s girl” despite losing her father as a child.
Charlotte Hennessy was just six-years-old when her dad James Robert Hennessy – “our Jimmy” to his loved ones – died in the Hillsborough disaster on April 15, 1989.
The new inquests into the deaths of the 96 today heard a powerful and emotional tribute from Charlotte, who said her dad was a beautiful person who never had a bad word for anyone.
She said: “Jimmy Hennessy is my dad. I had only six little years with him but they were the best years of my life.”
The court heard how Jimmy, who lived in Ellesmere Port, loved clothes. He was a "mod" with all the attire and rode a green Lambretta scooter.
He married in 1981 and had daughter Charlotte.
Charlotte said her dad remained a part of her life every single day, even though he and her mother had divorced in 1985.
His passion was Liverpool Football Club but Charlotte said when she was born, “little Charlotte Hennessy and LFC equalised.”
Now a mother-of-three, Charlotte said since her dad died she feels incomplete, like part of her is missing.
She said: “When I was hurt and needed a hug my dad was always there with a hug. When he was hurt and needed a hug, I couldn’t give him one.
“To date we have lost out on 9,145 days and not one goes by when I don’t think about him.
“We have missed out on 25 Christmases, 25 of my birthdays and 25 of his – that’s a lot of hugs.”
Charlotte recalled the times when she would play with her dad’s hair, paint his nails and play in her Wendy house with him, something she said his friends did not know.
“My heart broke the day my dad died and losing him has broken the heart of my family,” said Charlotte.
“We had so many more memories to make and Hillsborough took that away from us.
“He was everything to me. Losing my dad at Hillsborough stole my childhood from me and took away my best friend.
“It left me in a life of anger, bitterness and depression.”
Charlotte added: “I don’t want to live in the shadow of Hillsborough anymore and when all this is over, may my dad rest in peace.
“I will always be a daddy’s girl and no one can take that away from me.”
The jury also heard a pen portrait from Karen Gooding, Jimmy’s sister.
She said Jimmy had loved fishing and he and his dad would race homing pigeons together.
After leaving school – where he was popular and did well academically – Jimmy became a plastering apprentice.
He had just started his own plastering business around the time of Hillsborough and Karen said he “had everything to look forward to”.
She said: “He had a lot going for him and I was proud of him.”
After the breakdown of his marriage, Jimmy moved back home with his mum, who Karen says he was very close to.
She said: “Her love for him is endless and 25 years on she still grieves for him with a broken heart that will never mend - all because he went to watch a game of football.”
Karen told the court her brother was a quiet and extremely private person but said she hoped he would not mind her writing about him.
She added: “I hope he understand that I had to talk about him because, you see, he was not body number seven to me – he was our Jimmy.”