THE MOTHER of a Wirral man killed in the Hillsborough stadium disaster said her son was “just becoming a man” when he died.

David Thomas, from Tranmere, was 23 years old when he died.

A statement from his mother Valerie was read out on her behalf by the family’s solicitor, Tolu Agbelusi.

In it, Mrs Thomas said she found it hard to talk about her son, and said: “He was just becoming a man when he was taken from us.

“I remember he used the money he received for his 21st birthday as a deposit on a small house.”

Mr Thomas had started his own business as a painter and decorator and was “quite successful in his short life.”

The court also heard a statement from his brother-in-law, written at the time of the disaster.

It said: “David was quiet, predictable and the type of person who would take the shirt off his back to use as a bandage if it was needed.

“He had no hidden character. What you saw and heard was what you got.

“He will be deeply missed by all those fortunate enough to know him.”