Anne: Actor Reveals He Had Personal Connection To Hillsborough Drama
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Stephen plays Steve Williams in the emotional series, which tells the story of Anne Williams, whose son Kevin was tragically killed at the stadium disaster in 1989.
Speaking to This Morning about taking on the role, Stephen explained he actually had a family member who was at the match that day.
"As the day went on, you realise something more serious was happening," he said.
"And then by the end of the day's play, there was, I don't know how many fatalities, but you knew it was bad.
"I remember my dad trying to contact my uncle John because his son was at the game, he was a season ticket holder, and there was a frantic panic with that.
"I remember my brother going down to Anfield with his scarf for the memorial there. There was a sea of red and white flowers, cards and photographs.
"Everyone had a story like that in the community whether it was your neighbours or at school. The reverberations of that still continue 30 years later."
The drama dropped on ITV earlier this week, and viewers have been calling it 'heart wrenching'. It follows Anne (played by Maxine Peake) as she dedicates her life to fighting for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.
Anne famously rejected claims that football fans were to blame for the disaster, fighting for years to prove that the victims were unlawfully killed due to police negligence.
Anne's daughter - and Kevin's younger sister - Sara Williams, who was 10 at the time, has praised Maxine for her performance as her mum.
She said: "It was difficult [to watch] but a relief, in a way, that people could see it wasn’t just the people who died at Hillsborough and wasn’t just the campaign. Families were destroyed. Brothers and sisters’ lives destroyed.
"When we went to see the final version I thought, how can someone play my mum and feel like my mum? At first, you watch it thinking, ‘she looks a bit like her’. But by the end, I felt I was watching Mum."
Anne continues at 9pm on ITV on Wednesday. All episodes are available on the ITV Hub.