The Museum of Liverpool is now home to a quilt made up of 96 Liverpool FC Liver Birds and a painting of actress Sue Johnston – created by the artist’s feet.

The names of all 96 fans who died in the Hillsborough tragedy form part of the quilt created by Ellesmere Port grandmother Linda Whitfield.

And celebrated actress Sue Johnston, a firm supporter of the Hillsborough families, is captured on canvas by award-winning international artist Christian Hook.

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He painted the 72-year-old former Brookside star as a conventional black and white portrait – before ‘deconstructing’ the painting using his feet while listening to the anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Linda Whitfield next to her patchwork quilt featuring 96 Liver birds in memory of the fans who died at the Hillsborough disaster
Linda Whitfield next to her patchwork quilt featuring 96 Liver birds in memory of the fans who died at the Hillsborough disaster

The work is one of four Christian created of Sue after he won the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year award, travelling with her to venues which were close to her heart including Anfield and the offices of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, where he also did some painting.

The artist, who has a painting of actor Alan Cumming in the National Portrait Gallery in Scotland, said: “I did lots of different ideas with Sue, everyone of them developed on the spot.

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“But the thing she carried on talking about all the time was Hillsborough. She felt really strongly.

“It’s the symbolic meaning of the work with the anthem of Liverpool FC, You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Sue, who was at the museum to see the image unveiled in its Wondrous Place gallery today, added: “I’m just bursting with pride.

“I wish my mum and dad were here to see it. And I’m right next to Brookside too.”

Actress Sue Johnston and artist Christian Hook alongside her portrait on display at the Museum of Liverpool
Actress Sue Johnston and artist Christian Hook alongside her portrait on display at the Museum of Liverpool

Meanwhile grandmother Linda, from Ellesmere Port, was also at the Mann Island attraction to see her quilt installed next to the Kicking and Screaming football show in the same gallery.

She said: “It feels surreal.

“When I created the quilt, my plan was to donate it to the Hillsborough families to do with what they wanted. But they said it would be a shame for it to only be seen by one or two people.

“It looks amazing. I’ve brought my eldest granddaughter with me today, but I’m coming back tomorrow with the younger two.”

It took Linda four months to stitch the quilt after receiving donations of shirts from Liverpool fans.

And she reveals she has a few left over – and a plan with what to do with them.

She explained: “I’m waiting to see the outcome (of the inquests), and then I’m going to do another quilt about that, just for myself.”