After being approached by the Shield’s family, members of the Spirit of Shankly Management Committee attended several meetings to discuss ways to help Michael and raise the profile of his plight. Plans for a Judicial Review of Jack Straw’s position which claimed that the UK could not free Michael, who was now serving his sentence in the UK, gathered momentum. Supporters agreed to travel to London to protest outside the Ministry of Justice and arranged for Michael’s mum, Maria, to hand in a personal letter to the then Prime Ministers wife, Sarah Brown. This resulted in an unexpected meeting with Sarah Brown, where Maria put forward her argument for Michael’s release in an emotional and heartfelt discussion.
Protests at Anfield followed, with Liverpool players showing their support ahead of the West Ham game, wearing Free Michael Now t shirts in the warm up, and The Kop displaying a Free Michael Now mosaic. Further support was added at the Judicial Review at the High Court, as supporters packed the public galleries to hear the case. Michael was finally freed from prison, having been granted a Royal Pardon. This is what Michael had to say about it:
Michael, upon the Union’s inception was made an honorary member of Spirit of Shankly, and was member number one. Our support for Michael was not based on him being local or young. It was based on him being a Liverpool supporter, unfairly treated who needed our support.