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Remembering the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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Stylist.co.uk pays tribute to each of the victims, with words from their families and friends

Today marks one year since the Manchester Arena terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 22 people and left more than 800 with physical or psychological injuries.

Cities across the UK are paying tribute to the victims of the attack. There will be a National Service of Commemoration held at Manchester Cathedral at 2pm and choirs will come together for a sing-along vigil, Manchester Together, in Albert Square at 7pm.

There will also be a nationwide, minute-long silence at 2.30pm.

Tributes to the victims have been flooding social media as people remember loved ones lost, and support those who are grieving. Ariana Grande has also tweeted a tribute to the victims, writing, “thinking of you all today and every day. I love you with all of me and am sending you all of the light and warmth I have to offer on this challenging day”.

As the nation, and the world, remembers those who lost their lives or were injured in the attack, stylist.co.uk pays tribute to each of the victims with words from their families and friends.

Saffie Rose Roussos

Saffie Rose Roussos was the youngest victim of the bombing. She was just eight years old.

Her headteacher described how Saffie had been “counting down the days” until she got to see her hero, Ariana Grande, in concert. In a eulogy given at her funeral, he described how Saffie’s mum Lisa, who accompanied her to the concert, “rarely watched the stage that evening but, instead, her beautiful daughter, who knew every song, sang every word and danced – I mean really danced – and didn’t have a care in the world.”

At the funeral, her dad described her as a “superstar in the making”, while her sister called her “the greatest gift”.

The family have since run a successful crowdfunding campaign to have a new rose created in Saffie’s honour.

Sorrell Leczkowski

Sorrell Leczkowski, 14, did not attend the concert, but was there with her mum and grandmother to pick up her sister. Her sister was not injured in the attack.

In a statement, her family said, “Sorrell was only 14, but she was our rock, she kept us all grounded. She was such a clever, talented, creative girl, there was nothing she couldn’t do.”

“She was going to be an architect and wanted to go to Columbia University in New York to study so that she could build hotels with slides coming out of the rooms and so that she could build her mum a house.”

Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry

Chloe Rutherford, 17, was at the concert with her boyfriend Liam Curry, 19. They were both killed in the attack.

In a joint statement shared on Facebook, the couple’s families described the pair as “inseparable” and “perfect in every way for each other”.

They said they “lived to go to new places together and explore different cities”.

“They wanted to be together forever and now they are,” the family added.

The couple’s families are holding a special event to celebrate their lives at South Shields Town Hall today, and have invited members of the public to join them.

Martyn Hett

Martyn Hett, 29, was at the concert with a friend but the pair became separated.

In a moving statement, his family said, “Martyn was the icon of all our lives. His infectious laugh and his niche sense of humour will stay with us forever. He lived for every moment of every day and fitted an entire lifetime of memories into his 29 years.

“Whilst they have taken the life out of Martyn, no one can, and ever will, take Martyn out of our lives.”

His partner, Russell Hayward, said on Twitter: “We got the news last night that our wonderful iconic and beautiful Martyn didn’t survive. He left this world exactly how he lived, centre of attention.”

In the hours after his death, #BeMoreMartyn was trending on Twitter, as friends and family paid their tributes. The sentiments behind the hashtag became the theme of a play written by his friends.

Nell Jones

Nell Jones, 14, was killed after attending the concert with one of her schoolfriends.

After her death, her family set up a foundation in her honour, to support disadvantaged children and young people in the north west. Her brother Sam said, “We set up the Remembering Nell Foundation in memory of Nell, with the intention of taking something positive from everything that has fallen on us.

“Nell was a fantastic listener, she would always be there for people, and that’s where we wanted to go with the foundation.”

Her friends have also created a Garden of Memories for Nell, which includes a stream of pebbles that have been handpainted with messages of love in a lasting tribute.

Olivia Campbell

Olivia Campbell, 15, attended the concert with her friend Adam, who survived the attack.

Her mum, who had received a call from Olivia during the concert to say she was having an “amazing time”, paid tribute to her “precious, gorgeous girl”. Her head teacher also described her as “a delightful young girl”.

Her family set up a foundation in her honour, called Liv’s Trust, to support music, drama and arts for those under 25.

Eilidh MacLeod

Eilidh MacLeod, 14, was at the concert with her friend Laura, who was left severely injured in the blast.

In a statement, her parents said, “Our family is devastated and words cannot express how we feel at losing our darling Eilidh.

“Eilidh was vivacious and full of fun. She loved all music whether it was listening to Ariana or playing the bagpipes with her pipe band.

“As a family we would like to express our thanks and gratitude for the support and kind messages we have received at this difficult time.”

Eilidh’s family are now fundraising to build a permanent memorial in her memory, to be located on Scotland’s Outer Hebrides island.

Georgina Callander

Georgina Callander, 18, was killed in the blast. Her mum arrived at the Arena moments after the bomb went off and found her daughter being cared for by paramedics, before she tragically died in hospital.

Describing her daughter, she said, “She was amazing, she was beautiful, she was happy and she was always smiling.

“I’m going to miss that so much. I really am going to miss that, so much.”

Megan Hurley

Megan Hurley, 15, had attended the concert with her older brother, Bradley, after being given the tickets as a surprise gift for her birthday. Bradley was seriously injured.

In a statement, her parents described her as “fun-loving, sincere, caring and beautiful”.

In memory of his sister, Bradley designed a series of charity pin badges featuring an illustration of the teenager. Worn by celebrities including Simon Cowell and Brooke Vincent, the badges quickly sold out, with a message on Bradley’s website reading: “I am speechless. I never could of imagined the success of my pins… I thank you from the bottom of my heart… It means more to me than you could ever know.”

A portrait of Megan was also unveiled at her school, on what would have been her 16th birthday.

Courtney Boyle and Philip Tron

Courtney Boyle, 19, was killed in the attack along with her stepdad, Philip Tron.

In a statement, Courtney’s mum paid tribute to them both, saying, “My stunning, amazing, beautiful daughter, you were my rock, you made me so proud with all you had achieved.

“My gorgeous crazy Philip, you made my world a happy place, and now you are both my angels flying high in the sky.”

Jane Tweddle

Jane Tweddle, a mum of three, had gone to the arena with her friend to pick up her friend’s daughter.

In a statement, her partner Mark described her as “a very, very lovely lady and a very good mother to her three daughters. She was liked by everybody, especially in the community in Blackpool where she worked.”

Her daughters also released a joint statement, in which they said, “There are no words for how we feel. Our mum was every part of us. She is our strength, our laughter, our inner warrior, our kindness and our compassion.”

South Shore Academy in Blackpool, where Jane worked as a receptionist, is closed today in her memory.

John Atkinson

John Atkinson, 28, was leaving the arena when he was killed in the bomb blast.

Tributes poured in on social media following the news of his death, with one friend calling him a “true gentleman” and another describing him as “one in a million”.

A fundraising page set up in his memory raised over £7,000 to help his family with the cost of his funeral.

Kelly Brewster

Kelly Brewster, 32, was killed while shielding her 11-year-old niece from the bomb blast.

Writing on Facebook, her partner said, “Kelly really was the happiest she has ever been and we had so many things planned together.

“My daughter Phoebe will be absolutely devastated like we all are.”

Angelika and Marcin Klis

Polish couple Angelika and Marcin Klis were both killed while waiting to collect their daughters from the concert. Their daughters Alex, 20, and Patrycia, 12, were unharmed.

Following the tragedy, over £18,000 was raised via crowdfunding to help Alex and Patrycia buy their own home.

Alex said she was “just trying to stay strong” while looking after her younger sibling, and that the hardest thing was “just not having [her parents] there”.

Elaine McIver

Elaine McIver, 43, attended the concert with her partner, Paul, and two children.

The police officer, who was off-duty at the time, was described as “irreplaceable” by her family.

“Elaine was one of a kind and had an impact on so many lives,” they said in a statement. “She was a friend to so many and an amazing daughter, sister and aunt.

“Her love for all was immense and she was like the glue that held us all together.

Wendy Fawell

Wendy Fawell, 50, was at the arena with her friend waiting to pick up their children when she was killed by the blast.

Her son, Adam, paid tribute to his mum by saying, “Mum was a wonderful woman, she’ll be sadly missed.

“I would like to add how much it means to us what everybody at home and in Manchester have done to support us at this time.”

Alison Howe and Lisa Lees

Friends Alison Howe, 45, and Lisa Lees, 43, were waiting in the foyer to collect their daughters when they were killed by the bomb.

Alison’s step-son, Jordan, wrote on Facebook: “They took a caring beautiful mum and step mother away from us all she was amazing to us all.”

Lisa’s brother, also writing on Facebook, said she would “never ever [be] forgotten”.

Thousands of people lined the streets of Royton during both women’s funerals, and a memorial picnic was held by the families.

Michelle Kiss

Michelle Kiss, 45, was killed while waiting for her daughter, Millie, 12, to leave the concert.

At her funeral, Millie said, “Life is going to be so different without my mum by my side, but I am going to remember you, mum, with your beautiful smile and pretty face and sparkling eyes.

“You will never ever be forgotten - not by anyone.”

Earlier this month, her family raised £13,000 in a charity golf tournament. The money will be donated to the three hospitals in Manchester that treated the most seriously injured victims of the attack.  

You can donate to the We Love Manchester appeal by the British Red Cross here

Main image: Getty