RUNCORN comic John Bishop has given £96,000 to the Hillsborough Family Support Group after being moved by the emotional family statements read by victims’ families at their inquests in Warrington.

The 47-year-old star made the donation as a personal gift.

Ninety-six Liverpool fans died after a crush at the Sheffield stadium in 1989.

Fresh inquests were ordered after new evidence revealed by the Hillsborough Independent Panel led to the original inquest verdicts being quashed.

Dad-of-three John Bishop, aged 47, said: “Reading the statements brought home to me once more the individual loss that so many suffered.

“After 25 years, the families of the 96 are now hopefully moving closer to a resolution.

“In 1989, I laid flowers in front of the Kop to pay my respects. Making a donation to help assist in bringing the end closer seems more appropriate.

“The dignity with which the families have sought justice for over a quarter of a century is a lesson to us all.

“They are the best of us and will never walk alone.”

The Hillsborough Family Support Group welcomed the gesture. The money will help fund the group’s work and running costs.

Five Halton victims died at the FA semi-final on April 15, 1989.

Widnes man Peter Thomspson, a 30-year-old engineer, died months before his first child, a daughter, was born.

Adam Spearritt died in the crush in his dad’s arms. His father, Eddie woke up in hospital to be told his son had died.

Runcorn teenager Kevin Tyrrell, aged 15, who dreamed of becoming a footballer, was looking forward to watching his first away game.

Runcorn schoolboy Thomas Howard, aged 14, and his dad, also called Thomas, aged 39, both died at the stadium disaster.