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Crosby trio play crucial role in Hillsborough song’s number one success

MUSICIAN Peter Hooton has praised the people power which took the Justice Collective’s He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother single all the way to Christmas number one.

The 50-year-old, from Crosby, played a crucial role in spearheading the campaign which raised funds and awareness for the Hillsborough families’ ongoing fight for justice.

The cover of The Hollies’ classic reached the top spot on the Official Christmas Singles Chart, with sales topping 269,000.

After a closely-fought race it comfortably saw off X Factor winner James Arthur’s Impossible – crossing the finishing line more than 45,000 copies ahead of its rival.

Peter said: “X Factor and these people plan their Christmas singles in June, July, and we were only getting organised in October. It’s unbelievable, nobody does that.

“But it’s almost as if everything has just come into place. It comes down to the goodwill of the people, the music industry – and it’s a great testimony to the 96.”

Peter, singer with chart- topping band The Farm, also revealed two other Crosby residents played important parts in the surprise success by paying tribute to the efforts of management duo Pete Byrne and Peasy, “who dedicated three months of their lives to this, day and night”.

Peter said: “I thought it was going to be very close but when they told us we were in front I was so happy.

“On Saturday, a lot of big hitters like Luis Suarez, John Bishop and Hugh Grant came out in support of us and it really made the difference.”

Peter travelled down to London with fellow campaigners Frankie Goes To Hollywood frontman Holly Johnson, Spice Girl Mel C and Farm bandmate Keith Mullen for the announcement that the single had reached the coveted top spot.

Keith’s best friend, Paul Hewitson, who lived on Hilary Drive, Crosby, lost his life in the tragedy.

Peter said: “I’m not embarrassed to say it was an emotional moment. Keith and I had tears in our eyes.”

“Our marketing budget was zero, but we relied on people power and what we’ve achieved is now in the history books.”

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