Search

Royal Free Hospital secretary who died at Hillsborough was ‘loving and caring’ mum-of-two

19:29 25 April 2014

Royal Free Hospital secretary Inger Shah, who died in the Hillsborough disaster.

Royal Free Hospital secretary Inger Shah, who died in the Hillsborough disaster.

Archant

The daughter of a former Royal Free Hospital secretary who died in the Hillsborough disaster has told a jury how she and her younger brother were taken into care following her mother’s death.

Rebecca Shah, 42, broke down in tears at the inquest into the death of her mother Inger Shah, one of 96 football fans who died during an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium, in Sheffield, on April 15, 1989.

Rebecca appeared as a witness at the inquest held on Wednesday in Warrington, Cheshire, and read a statement about her mother, who was 38 and lived in Golders Green at the time of her death.

She described the maternal instinct she had for her younger brother Daniel, who joined her in care after their mother’s death, and how the “need to defend my mother’s good name for a quarter of a century” had been “overwhelming”.

The court heard Rebecca’s mother was born in a fishing village in Denmark but left to become an au pair in London in 1968, before marrying and then divorcing their Indian father.

She took a full-time job as a secretary at the Royal Free Hospital, in Pond Street, Hampstead, in 1987.

Rebecca told the court: “My mum was still working at the Royal Free Hospital when she died. It was a shocking blow to all of her colleagues, many of whom attended her funeral.

“My mum was very loving and caring and she was the best mum anyone could hope for and my brother and I were very close to her.”

After moving to London, Ms Shah and her children became Liverpool FC season ticket-holders and joined the London and Essex Reds Liverpool supporters group to travel to matches.

In the lottery of cup match tickets, Ms Shah and her son got one each, but Rebecca did not - and mother and daughter rowed the night before, with Mrs Shah begging her daughter to travel to the game anyway in the hope of getting a spare ticket at the ground.

“We never made up and that makes her death harder for me to cope with,” Rebecca told the jury. “The memory of her begging me to go haunts me to this day.”

She watched the disaster unfold on TV with both her mother and brother on the Leppings Lane terrace.

“The effects of my mum’s loss on our family has been both immense and profound,” she said, as both she and Daniel, standing at her side, broke down.

She added: “My mother was not a drunken hooligan, nor a bad mother. On the contrary, this statement has shown her to be a loving, caring, devoted and loyal mother, as well as a warm-hearted, kind, generous, funny, brave and intelligent human being, one who is still so badly missed and much loved and always will be.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

16:31
Christopher Atkins                Picture: HMRC

A film producer from Gospel Oak who was jailed for five years after spinning a “web of lies” to get taxpayer funding for a Bafta-nominated film has been ordered to repay more than £100,000.

14:07
The crash in Swiss Cottage happened this morning         Picture: Nick Ansell/PA

A driver has been freed from a car after it crashed into a parked lorry in Swiss Cottage.

12:55
Mandarin workshop at Highgate Primary School

A Highgate school which prides itself on being a pioneer in teaching Mandarin is pulling out all the stops to embrace Chinese culture.

Yesterday, 15:00
Lord Dubs      Picture: Katie Collins/PA

Dozens of politicians, religious leaders, charity heads and cultural groups in Camden have signed a letter pleading with Home Secretary Amber Rudd to change her mind on settling child refugees in Britain.

Yesterday, 10:48
Lara Casalotti

A year ago, Belsize Park student Lara Casalotti was in desperate need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant.

Yesterday, 09:57
The crash in England's Lane                Picture: Francoise Lamouche

A car crashed and flipped over in Belsize Park last night – with the occupants mysteriously fleeing.

Mon, 17:49
Nazanin with her husband Richard and daughter Gabriella

West Hampstead mum Nazanin has finally seen a specialist for her back and neck, who said that without urgent treatment she could run the risk of permanent impairment

Mon, 13:14
Gakleen Shahata

Police are increasingly concerned for the wellbeing of a deaf woman with learning difficulties after she went missing from a church in Golders Green.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now