Joseph Daniel McCarthy, known to friends and family as Joe, was born to Sean and Anne McCarthy in Ealing, London in 1968. He was academically clever and a gifted all-round sportsman, who loved to travel around Europe.
His cousin, Anthony Goggins, described him at the inquests as 'one of life's good guys'. He said: "Joe was genuinely a lovely human being, full of joy with a zest for life. We all miss him."
Joseph Daniel McCarthy was born on February 11, 1968 and died at the age of 21 years.
Joseph, who was known as Joe, was born to Sean and Anne McCarthy, two years after their eldest son, Jeremy, was born. Sean and Anne had just the two boys.
His parents worked extremely hard to ensure that both Jeremy and Joe had an excellent education. Joe was a typical boy; he often got into harmless mischief, but had such an endearing personality that it was easy to forgive him for whatever wrongdoing.
His mum Anne said that he could 'charm the birds from the trees with his chat'.
Joe was born in Ealing, London, and attended Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Primary School. Joe's mum and dad were deeply involved in their church and community, and Joe and Jeremy were involved in all church activities.
Joe was a natural leader; confident without being arrogant.
He started winning sports awards from the age of seven, coming first place in numerous sports events held at Mount Carmel.
He was an all-round sportsperson and liked nothing better than training for either a swimming certificate or long jump or even cricket ball throwing.
Joe loved being outdoors playing any kind of sport, although football was his favourite.
He was on the Mount Carmel football team, which was part of the Ealing Schools Football Association, and Joe practised really hard with his football team to win each year in the competition, yet when they came runners-up, he was still overjoyed - something his mum recalled years later to me.
When Joe became captain of the team, they won the competition. It was the first time that the middle school had won a trophy since joining the ESFA in 1973.
Joe was so proud that the team won the cup and would not take any of the credit himself, laughing and joking about it, saying it was all luck.
He was a Beaver Scout and could not wait to become a Cub Scout and then a Scout. His brother Jeremy and himself were very keen Scout members and won many cups for their Scout pack.
In 1977, when Joe was just nine years old, the Scout pack won the Ealing five-a-side league and then added the knockout cup to their triumph. Joe really liked to win, but was also a great loser.
Joe was entering gymnastics competitions from a very early age and won The Sunday Times British Amateur Gymnastics award for his age group.
Academically, Joe was clever. He did not find school difficult, he enjoyed going to school, he was a great communicator and loved the interaction that took place at school, both with teachers and peers alike.
He found all subjects easy and Anne and Sean were always at home to help with the boys' homework. They encouraged both boys to study and avail of their education.
Joe gained entrance into the most prestigious non-fee paying Roman Catholic secondary school in London, Cardinal Vaughan. This was due to his excellent academic ability and the fact that his parents were devout Roman Catholics.
Joe was more concerned about Cardinal Vaughan having a good football team and sports programme than the academic results they obtained each year. He enjoyed his years at Cardinal Vaughan and he was very popular at school.
He was captain of the first XI football team; he was a member of the cricket team; he was also a school prefect and chairman of both the debating society and the economic and business society.
Anne and Sean used to take Joe and Jeremy on holidays to Europe, to various parts of England, including Devon, the Isle of Wight, Bath, and of course to Ireland. Joe loved to travel and collect postcards of where he had visited so that the whole family could relive the memory of the wonderful holidays they had together.
Joe also travelled extensively in Europe and loved fashion, taking a very keen interest in French and Italian fashion houses. He was a dapper dresser and loved to be ahead of fashion.
Joe obtained his A-levels and decided to study for a BA (Hons) in Business Studies at Sheffield University.
I came from Ireland to live with my aunt Anne and uncle Sean when I was 17 years old. I knew my cousins Joe and Jeremy from summer holidays.
Joe and I became firm friends. We both had similar interests - football, of course, being the main one. We both enjoyed going out to clubs as we also loved the same type of music.
Joe was popular with all the girls he met, but once he met Penny, he had eyes for no-one else.
Joe was one of life's good guys. He was genuinely a lovely human being, full of joy with a zest for life. We all miss him.
Rest in Peace