When the Big Step walk between Manchester and Liverpool ended at Anfield, Martin Paterson lit a candle at Everton FC’s memorial wall in memory of Ryan Myers and all who have lost their lives to gambling. Ryan’s father and mother, John and Alison and sister Hannah were on the walk.
ITV News covered the walk. Along with John’s very moving interview, James Grimes, the Founder of the Big Step, is interviewed.
It seems fitting that the walk ended at Ryan’s beloved Anfield where a shrine marks the deaths of 97 Liverpool fans in the Hillsborough disaster. Decades of struggle by bereaved families with the support of very many ordinary people have unveiled the truth. Against all the odds the Hillsborough Justice Campaign fought to reveal police corruption, overturn coroners’ judgments and challenge the pernicious narratives from some media and politicians that the disaster was the fans’ responsibility. Despite this, as yet the legal system has failed so far to hold key individuals to account.
Still, the power of ordinary people to fight injustice when they come together is remarkable. By refusing to bow to powerful voices and institutions, history shows repeatedly that power also grows from the ground upwards. The Big Step walk commemorated Ryan while continuing its contribution to reframing the narratives around gambling harms.
As the walk progressed and afterwards, those who took part were sharing on social media the immense warmth and friendship they shared.
Martin (pictured centre) with John and Alison said, “Had a great time away with the Big Step meeting some new friends sadly due to harm and suicide.”
The expressions of Love and solidarity show the power that takes people through adversity, suffering and loss, and the power that sustains struggle against injustice.
Such Love is a memorial to Ryan and some sustenance for his parents, Alison and John, and sister Hannah, and all who have lost a loved one to gambling.