‘Anne’ recap: What happened in Episode 1?

ITV’s new mini-series about 1989’s Hillsborough football tragedy began in the UK tonight.

Anne stars Maxine Peake (Silk, The Village) as inspirational justice campaigner Anne Williams as she attempts to uncover the truth about what happened on that tragic day following her son’s death.

From the makers of Bodyguard, the four-part drama depicts how Williams challenged medical evidence following her son’s original inquest, and refused to accept its verdict of accidental death.

Outlander actor Stephen Walters plays Anne’s husband Steve, Campbell Wallace plays her 15-year-old son Kevin, and Matthew McNulty (Versailles) plays Andy Burnham.

The official synopsis reads: “Anne, from Formby, near Liverpool, was devastated by the loss of her son, 15-year-old Kevin, who was tragically killed at the FA Cup semi-final in 1989 between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

“Anne stood defiantly alongside other parents and their families who fought for justice for the 96 loved ones who lost their lives at a football match.

“Determined to unearth the truth about Hillsborough, Anne Williams refused to believe the official line on how the disaster unfolded, seeking new medical opinion, tracking down witnesses whose statements were altered, and leaving no stone unturned in her fight for truth and justice.”

Here’s a plot recap for the first episode, which aired on ITV at 9pm on Sunday 2nd January 2022:

Fifteen-year-old Kevin Williams (Campbell Wallace) is a huge Liverpool FC fan.

He’s desperate to go to the semi-final against Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield and begs his mum, Anne Williams (Maxine Peake) and step-dad Steve Williams (Stephen Walters), to let him go.

They are uneasy about letting Kevin go to away games, but they see how badly he wants to go. They relent and on Saturday 15th April 1989 Kevin travels to the match with his friend Andy.

When he doesn’t return home, and following reports of fatalities from the terrible overcrowding at the game, Anne and Steve drive to Sheffield to try to find him.

They are eventually led to a room full of polaroid’s and asked to identify their son from among the faces of the dead. Traumatised and grief stricken, they attend the inquest into Kevin’s death expecting answers.

But the evidence they hear at the inquest throws up even more questions.

Anne and Steve’s confusion is reinforced by a visit from an Inspector the day after the inquest. He says he has come to clear up some details they may have heard the previous day, and explains how the witness evidence is at odds with the medical evidence.

After an overall verdict of accidental death for all 95 people who died at the match, Anne can’t let her anger and frustration rest.

In the hope of finding other families like her who believe justice has not been done, she joins the Hillsborough Family Support Group.