Tributes to ‘gentle giant’ who moved to Norwich to help recovery after Hillsborough disaster
PUBLISHED: 11:40 18 May 2020
Tributes have been paid to “a gentle giant” football fan who moved to Norwich to aid his recovery from the trauma of the Hillsborough disaster.
Grant Lockett was in the crowd when 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives at the FA Cup semi-final in 1989 and suffered emotional heartache and mental health difficulties as a result.
The avid Liverpool supporter moved to Norwich in the latter stages of his life in a bid to aid his recovery from the post traumatic stress disorder he developed following that tragic April day.
However on Saturday, 51-year-old Mr Lockett, who grew up in Lincolnshire, was found dead in his Norfolk home, having suffered a suspected heart attack in the night.
Fellow Norfolk-based Hillsborough survivor Paul Williams said: “Grant was a gentle giant of a man. He had struggled hugely with what he witnessed at Hillsborough and lost people very close to him because of the disaster.
“I’m glad that he reached out to the Hillsborough Survivors’ Support Alliance (HSA), found some closure and faced the demons which tormented him so long.
“He was very popular within our group and will be sorely missed.”
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Mr Williams, who shared his own experiences of the disaster on the 30th anniversary, added: “What really struck me with Grant is the love he had for his daughters Alex and Natasha - he was always talking about them with such pride. He worshipped them.
“My heart and the hearts of all within our group, goes out to them.”
Loved ones of Mr Lockett told the Liverpool Echo he had been “in the best emotional place he’d been for years” before his death.
Peter Scarfe, chairman of the HSA, told the Echo: “He’d dealt with everything in his mind, but in the end, his body gave up. On Sunday, the day after he died, I was in bits, I couldn’t talk to anyone.
“Grant was a lovely man - all of a sudden, Natasha hasn’t got a daddy anymore - it’s heartbreaking.
“Grant was a great dad and had a fantastic relationship with his children, who saw him regularly.”
He leaves two daugthers, 23-year-old Alex and Natasha, six.
A fundraising campaign to support his family with funeral costs has raised more than £6,800.