Carl Brown

Carl Brown

Age: 18

Born into a close family in Leigh, Lancashire, Carl Brown and his older brother, Mark, were virtually inseparable growing up. As well as following Liverpool home and away, Carl loved photography and, in April 1989, was doing A-levels in business studies and computer science at college.

His mother, Delia, said: "Carl loved his family as much as we loved him. He only had a short life, but it was a very fulfilled and happy one and we were very proud of him."

Portrait by his mother Delia Brown

Terry and I didn't think we could have children, so when we were blessed with Mark and then Carl - we lived our whole lives through them.

We were a close family and Carl hated to be on his own, as he always needed to be around us and have lots of company.

As a family, we had our second home in our caravan. Our Friday night routine was us heading off from our home town of Leigh, in Lancashire, in the touring caravan for weekends away and treasured family time. We loved heading down to the south coast for holidays by the sea.

Although Carl was four years younger than Mark, he was the extrovert of the family, and as brothers they were very close. All of his short life, Carl followed his brother around like a shadow. He always wanted to do what Mark was doing and, despite the age gap, he seemed to grow up quickly alongside his brother.

Carl couldn't wait to start school and settled in from day one as he had lots of friends and always had something planned to do.

From an early age, he was into chess, and joined a chess group when he was about six and he won many competitions and trophies. Whenever there was a new craze, he was hooked. First skateboarding, then CB radios and then BMX bikes. He was really committed and put everything into it. His drive and complete enjoyment was infectious.

When Carl started junior school, computers were really taking off and they were both hooked. Carl and Mark spent hours together collecting all the new software, as they thought they were both 'experts'.

The house was always full of friends calling by for help, exchanging advice or simply to play games. Our family home became open house, which suited Carl's personality. He needed lots of company, but he was a home bird and he always needed to be near his family.

When Carl started senior school, he became an avid Liverpool supporter and never missed a game, home or away. He and his friend had season tickets in the seating stand so they never missed out on a game.

Carl worked hard at school, and whilst he only got five O-levels, they were good ones, in maths, English, computers and two sciences, so he got himself into Leigh Sixth Form College.

He loved those two years doing the subjects of his choice, business studies and computer science, and making new friends who shared the same interests. Carl also developed an interest in photography, so we had a dark room for developing his printing upstairs. He put a 'no entry' sign on the door and no-one was allowed in.

On Carl's 17th birthday, my husband and I brought him his prized possession, a Ford Escort car. Within seven weeks, he passed his test first time and he seemed to grow in confidence. He went out early mornings smiling and happy to pick up his friends and drive them all to college.

Carl then found himself in a bit of a dilemma, as he didn't think he could keep his season ticket as it depended on which university he got into. Fate stepped in and he was interviewed at Manchester University and was offered a provisional place, which he accepted, depending on his A-level results.

But Carl had left it too late to renew his application for his season ticket in the seating area and he had to buy a season ticket for the terraces instead, as he didn't want to miss out on any of his beloved Liverpool games.

The events at Hillsborough took our Carl from us. Carl loved his family as much as we loved him. We only had 18 years and three weeks with him, and he never caused us any problems.

We were always there for each other. He only had a short life, but it was a very fulfilled and happy one and we were very proud of him.

Carl's dad, Terry, died suddenly at the age of 57 from a heart attack. Our family unit has changed forever, but I visit them both every day and I know now that Terry is reunited with his son.

 

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