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Johnathan's family speak of 'little angel'
10:00am Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
THE family of Johnathan Ball have spoken of the day their 'little angel' was murdered by terrorists.
Aunty Eileen Latham, aged 50, of Northway, Longford said: “I can remember that day like it was yesterday.
“Someone told me a bomb had gone off in town.
“Almost immediately I thought that Johnathan had gone into town with his babysitter.
“We were all day long waiting for news.”
The family knew that the three-year-old’s babysitter had been taken to hospital and feared the worst.
At around 9.30pm that evening police told them that Johnathan had been killed.
“There were lots of police officers all around and in the middle Marie was just sat in shock,” said Mrs Latham.
“There was nothing we could say to her to make it any better.
“I avoided Bridge Street for a long time after that.
“I don't go into town even now because it's still in the back of my mind when I walk down that street.
“It's bad enough for a bomb to go off in your home town, but for a member of your family to be killed just makes it so much worse.”
Johnathan would have been 24 in May.
Aunty Kath Van Dusen, aged 56, of Welfield Street, Sankey Bridges, told of her 'bright, bubbly' nephew.
She said: “Knowing that my lovely little nephew had been killed, it was heartbreaking.
“My daughter Kelly and Johnathan were like brother and sister.
“He was always laughing and jumping around, he was my little angel.
“They were beautiful, always playing and going everywhere together.
“He was a beautiful boy with big blue eyes.
“He would have broken a lot of girls hearts.
“At first I could never walk down Bridge Street but now I go down there and touch his picture.
“You can't forget it because it was such a big thing in our lives.
“I still think about it, even after 20 years.”
Pauline Owen, aged 54, of Duckford Court, Padgate, is also Johnathan's aunty.
She described how the family struggled in the aftermath of the IRA attack.
“The bomb had a huge knock on affect on the family,” she said.
“We were devastated, you don't think it can happen, a terrorist attack in this town.
“It wasn't just that a child had died, but everything that came after that.
“The bombing being in all the papers at the time used to get us all down.
“Marie struggled with all of the media attention and found it very hard.
“You try and move forward but it's always there – you can't forget about it.
“The anniversary coming up brings back memories for all of us.
“But we will all be together at the memorial on Saturday.
“We want to mark the occasion with family and do it for Marie, and for Johnathan.”