Teen drifted away from pal in Hillsborough disaster crush

Paul Clark, 18, of Swanwick, was killed in the Hillsborough disaster

Paul Clark, 18, of Swanwick, was killed in the Hillsborough disaster

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A Derbyshire teenager who died in the Hillsborough disaster drifted away from his friend in the crush, the 
inquests into the 96 deaths have heard.

Paul Clark, 18, of Swanwick, travelled to the semi-final on April 15, 1989, from Chesterfield with his father Kenneth Clark and friend Andrew Booth.

The court, in Birchwood Park, Warrington, heard on Wednesday that Kenneth had tickets for the north stand, while Paul and Andrew had standing tickets, so they separated upon arrival.

Andrew Booth told the court he and Paul reached the ground around 2.20pm, and took position on the terraces 10 minutes later.

The jury was shown footage of the friends standing together in pen three at 2.50pm, ten minutes before the match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest kicked-off.

Mr Booth said they were stood at the back of the pen to begin with, but were pushed forward as the crowd pressure intensified.

Mr Booth said he lost sight of Paul a few minutes before kick-off.

In a 1989 statement, Mr Booth said: “He kind of drifted towards the front.”

The jury heard there was no evidence regarding Paul’s retrieval from the pen, but were shown footage of him being carried across the pitch on a hoarding at around 3.35pm.

Kostanti Fojut, a police constable, said he had carried Paul into the gymnasium and stayed with him there

Kenneth Clark made his way to a pre-arranged meeting point after the crush, but said his son did not arrive as planned.

The jury heard Mr Clark went to Hammerton Road police station and then the Hillsborough Boys’ Club to look for his son.

He contacted his wife, Susan, who then made her way to Sheffield, and they then went to the gymnasium where Mr Clark identified his son to PC Fojut.