AN emotional tribute was paid to Widnes man Peter Thompson, who died months before his first child was born, at today’s Hillsborough inquest.

Peter brother’s Denis Thompson gave a heartbreaking account of the 30-year-old engineer’s life during the hearing in Birchwood and said he knew Peter would have been a ‘wonderful father’.

Growing up as the eldest of three brothers, the court heard Peter had a large extended family in Widnes and he had grown up in a ‘warm and happy environment’.

Mr Thompson, who was joined by his brother Tony and their wives Susan and Jude at the hearing, said: “Our dad was a joiner and mum trained to be a teacher when we were younger.

“They were and are hard-working and self-reliant people who Peter inherited his values from.”

He added setting an example for his younger brothers was a role that came naturally to Peter and both brothers looked up to him.

Summer holidays would be spent in Blackpool or North Wales and Mr Thompson said Peter, a member of the venture scouts and TA, was always physically fit and was keen on squash, martial arts and played five-aside.

The former St Michael’s Primary School pupil was described as a ‘hard-working lad who had lots of friends’ and started watching Liverpool in the early 1970s with his school friends.

Mr Thompson added: "His favourite band at this time was Dr Feelgood and he was noted for a fine dancefloor impersonation of the guitarist, Wilko Johnson."

The British Aerospace employee worked in London for a year and his brother Tony said he remembered visiting him and ‘thinking how much he had already achieved through hard work and commitment.’

Mr Thompson added: “He was the best man at Tony’s wedding and I was told to give him a stiff drink to give him Dutch courage as we didn’t think public speaking would come naturally to him.

"The speech went off well, though, and he couldn't resist a reference to the Liverpool match he
was forced to miss in order to be there.”

The jury heard the ‘self-motivated’ engineer worked in Norway, Canada, America and Holland before meeting his wife Linda in Holland and setting up home with her in Wigan.

Mr Thompson said the wedding was a ‘joyous occasion’ for the Dutch and Widnes families and they were looking forward to the birth of their first child.

Their daughter Nikki was born four months after Peter’s sad death and a couple of years later Peter’s wife decided to move back to Holland.

Mr Thompson added: “The families are still in touch and we see as much as we can of Nikki.
“Peter was the kind of person able to get on with people where ever he went.

“He had a warm and generous nature, quick sense of humour and above all was completely without pretension.

“He would, I’m sure, have been a wonderful father to Nikki.

“He was deeply loved by his family and friends and we cherish his memory still.”

The hearing continues.