THE brother of a St Helens man who lost his life in the Hillsborough disaster told a court how the death left a massive void in the family.
More families of the 96 Liverpool Football Club fans involved in the tragedy are being given the chance to speak about their loved ones as the new inquests into their deaths resumed on Monday.
Nicholas Joynes, lived in Sutton, and was just 27 when he had his life cut short by the tragedy of April 15, 1989.
Today brother James gave a “pen portrait” to jurors at the hearings in Warrington and said he had a bubbly personality who got on well with everyone.
Described as a wonderful son, beloved brother, adored uncle and devoted husband, his brother said he would be missed every day and that his death had left a massive void in the family.
The court heard that Nick was passionate about most sports – except golf, which his dad had tried to teach him with little success - and football was his favourite to play.
He had trials with Liverpool but, in the words of James, “just didn’t make the grade”.
Nick left school at 16 and immediately began working at OTIS elevators.
James told the court his brother had a lot of friends and enjoyed socialising, particularly at the weekends.
His best friend was hairdresser Ian Price, who would often use Nick as a model for competitions he was entering, leaving him with a variety of hair styles that were guaranteed to draw comments from his dad.
The family had suffered tragedy before the events of the Hillsborough disaster, with Nick’s brother Mark killed in South Africa in 1983.
James said: “Nick was very close to Mark and Mark’s death affected him greatly.
“He never got over the fact that he had lost his brother – he became very protective of us all.”
It was Mark that prompted Nick’s passion for Liverpool FC, with James saying he attended games at Anfield whenever he could but “didn’t generally go to any away fixtures”.
Nick married his wife Gillian in September 1988.
James described them as a “lovely couple” who had so many dreams ahead of them.
He said: “I know Nick would have made a fantastic father.
“His death has left a massive void in our family, and we miss him dearly.”
Gillian worked as an air hostess which meant Nick was able to fulfil his dream of travelling the globe, taking in places including Hong Kong, Dubai, New York and Los Angeles.
James added: “He was a wonderful son, beloved brother, adored uncle and devoted husband.
"All our family feel such a tremendous loss.”