Throwback: Boris Becker won the Wirral Tennis tournament and handed over the winnings to Hillsborough Disaster fund


Boris Becker donated his total winning amount of £25,000 to the charity fund for the victims of the Hillsborough stadium disaster

The Hillsborough disaster took place on 15th April 1989 and led to the death of 97 fans. It is regarded as one of the most tragic accidents in sporting history. Boris Becker won the Wirral International Tennis tournament fifteen days later on April 30.

“Liverpool have always been one of my favourite clubs and like everyone else I was stunned by what happened at Hillsborough. I just wanted to do something to help”, Becker wrote while handing over his total prize money of £25,000 to the Hillsborough Disaster Appeal fund.

The Hillsborough disaster was a fatal human crush during a football match at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. With 97 deaths and 766 injuries, it has the highest death toll in British sporting history. Ninety-four people died on the day; another person died in hospital days later, and another victim died in 1993. In July 2021, a coroner ruled that Andrew Devine, who died 32 years after suffering severe and irreversible brain damage on the day, was the 97th victim.

The contribution Boris Becker made to the disaster fund went a long way in helping the families of the victims

The disaster appeal fund was set up with donations of £500,000 from the UK Government, £100,000 from Liverpool F.C., and £25,000 each from the cities of Liverpool, Sheffield, and Nottingham. The Liverpool F.C. donation was the amount the club would have received had the semi-final gone ahead as planned. Within days, donations had passed £1 million, swelled by donations from individuals, schools, and businesses. Other fundraising activities included a Factory Records benefit concert and several fundraising football matches.

Boris Becker in action
Throwback: Boris Becker won the Wirral Tennis tournament and handed over the winnings to Hillsborough Disaster fund 2

The two teams involved in the Bradford City stadium fire, Bradford City and Lincoln City, met for the first time since the 1985 disaster in a game that raised £25,000 for the Hillsborough fund. By the time the appeal closed in 1990, it had raised more than £12 million. Much of the money went to victims and relatives of those involved in the disaster. And also provided funds for a college course to improve the hospital phase of emergency care.

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