July 1, 2022

The 22 innocent victims killed in the Manchester Arena bombing five years ago

May 2022 marks five years since the Manchester Arena terror attack that shocked the world. Twenty-two innocent victims were killed by terrorist Salman Abedi when he detonated a suicide bomb in his backpack as concert-goers were leaving the Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017.

The victims ranged in ages with the youngest being just eight as families lost loved ones who were cherished schoolchildren, students, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, devoted men and women.

Hundreds of others were injured in the despicable attack and will never fully get over what happened. Hashem Abedi, the brother of Salman Abedi, was found guilty of 22 counts of murder. He was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 55 years.

Read More: Tribute remembering victims of the Manchester Arena attack officially opens to public

A public inquiry into the attack adjourned earlier in the year, with two reports on the background to the bombing, including the radicalisation of Manchester-born Abedi, and the emergency services response due to be published later this year.

These are the 22 people who tragically lost their lives in the attack.

Liam Curry, 19, and Chloe Rutherford, 17

Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry, who were killed in the Manchester Arena attack.

Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford (PA)

Teenage sweethearts Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford were united in life and in death. The couple, from South Shields, Tyneside, were looking forward to a future they had already mapped out when they were killed.

Liam, who planned to join the police service, was studying sports science at Northumbria University to be close to Chloe, who was studying music and performance at Newcastle College and doing an apprenticeship in the travel industry.

The Together Forever Trust was set up in their memory and has since given thousands to help people in their local community.

At their joint funeral, Father Chris Fuller said: “We come lost for words, angry with God, sad, confused, tearful, emotional. But above all this, we come out of love. And it is love that will win. For the greatest thing that endures is love.

“Chloe and Liam were, and still are, an image of love. Inseparable in life, inseparable in death, inseparable now with the angels of heaven.”

Sir John Saunders, the chairman of the inquiry into the attack, said: “Chloe and Liam’s relationship was very special.

“After a short period of time together their greatest wish was that they would never be separated. They weren’t.

“But that doesn’t make it any easier for the families and friends.”

Courtney Boyle, 19, and Philip Tron, 32

19-year-old Manchester Arena bombing victim Courtney Boyle
19-year-old Manchester Arena bombing victim Courtney Boyle

Courtney Boyle (Image: PA)

Courtney, from Gateshead, had been waiting at the Arena with her stepdad Philip.

Philip was a barman at the Gateshead Arms in Low Fell and Courtney was a student at Leeds Beckett University

Following the tragedy, Courtney’s mum and Philip’s partner, Deborah Hutchinson said: “My stunning amazing beautiful daughter you were my rock you made me so proud with all you had achieved and my gorgeous crazy Philip you made my world a happy place and now you are both my angels flying high in the sky.”

Sir John Saunders, chairman of the inquiry into the attack, said: “Philip was clearly a larger than life character.

Philip Tron (Image: Arena Inquiry)

“We need as many people as Philip did who can make us laugh so that makes his loss all the greater but his spirit of fun has left you with many happy memories and he will live on through those.”

Jane Tweddle, 51

Jane Tweddle

Jane Tweddle, originally from Hartlepool, was a mother-of-three and receptionist at a school in Blackpool.

Jane and a friend were waiting in the area where the explosion happened following the concert.

A family tribute read out at the inquiry said: “She was her daughters’ warrior mum. She taught them to be kind and to stick together. She made their house full of love and laughter.

“Jane’s outlook on life continues to inspire them.

“Her daughters will always be grateful for those who did their best to help their beloved mum on the night of 22nd May 2017.”

Angelika Klis, 39, and Marcin Klis, 42

Angelika and Marcin Klis (Image: Manchester Evening News)

Married couple Angelika, 39, and Marcin Klis, 42, from were from York.

They are remembered by their daughters as ‘extremely loving, hardworking, and great examples of parents’.

At the inquiry into the attack, the couple were described by their daughters as “amazing parents, great friends and kind people”.

Martyn Hett, 29

Martyn Hett (Image: Figen Murray)

Martyn Hett, a PR manager, had been attending the concert.

At his funeral, which featured tributes from Mariah Carey, Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw, and comedian Jason Manford, mourners were urged to #BeMoreMartyn.

Turnout for the event was so big the service was screened outside to people who couldn’t fit into Stockport Town Hall for the event.

Following his death Martyn’s mum Figen Murray has campaigned for the introduction of new rules, dubbed Martyn’s Law, to improve security at public venues following the attack on May 22 2017, which killed 22 people.

She has called for lessons to be learned after the inquiry into the attack heard that many casualties waited more than an hour for treatment following the explosion. She said: “We can’t turn back the clock, but we can learn lessons to ensure that these failures are not repeated in the wake of another attack.”

Georgina Callander, 18

Georgina Callander (Image: PA)

Georgina was a college student from Lancashire. She was an Ariana Grande superfan who had met her idol in 2015. She was looking forward to starting student life at Edge Hill University.

The teenager’s parents, Lesley and Simon, said she “lit up the room when she walked in with her beautiful, big smile”, had “a heart as big as the moon”, was a “super-fan” of the singer.

Sir John Saunders, chairman of the inquiry into the attack, said the teenager was “on the threshold of her adult life, setting off on her chosen career looking after sick children, a career she was dedicated to and which she always wanted to do and no doubt would have been very good at”.

He added: “Her loss naturally gives rise to feelings of extreme sadness but also to feelings of extreme frustration at how unnecessary her dying and her death was.”

Saffie Rose Roussos, 8

Saffie Rose Roussos (Image: Arena Inquiry.)

Saffie was the youngest victim of the attack. Saffie, a pupil at Tarleton Community Primary School, in Lancashire. Saffie’s funeral at Manchester Cathedral in July was the last of the funerals of the 22 people killed in the atrocity, and was attended by hundreds of mourners.

Her family invited the public of Manchester to gather on the day to celebrate her life – a little girl with a beautiful smile who loved dancing, gymnastics and music.

John Atkinson, 28

John Atkinson (Image: UGC/FAMILY)

‘True gentleman’ John Atkinson took pride in helping others. John, from Radcliffe , Bury, worked as a support worker for people with autism.

Music lover Mr Atkinson was a big fan of the singer and attended the performance on May 22 2017 with a friend.

A family tribute said: “John was loving, loyal, kind and caring. Nobody mattered more to John than the people that he loved. He was the life and soul of his family and was larger than life. John was well loved for his ‘on point’ eyebrows and his Nike flip-flops – he was never seen without either.

“John was not somebody that you could have a cross word with – he was too kind and thoughtful for that.”

Megan Hurley, 15

Megan Hurley (Image: PA)

Megan was a pupil at Halewood Academy.

Following her death, Megan’s heartbroken family vowed to keep her memory alive.

Megan was immortalised with a charity pin badge, designed by her older brother Bradley. More than 500 were sold, with famous faces including Simon Cowell and Brooke Vincent showing their support by proudly wearing them on national television.

Olivia Campbell-Hardy, 15

Olivia Campbell-Hardy (Image: Manchester Evening News)

Olivia was a pupil at Tottington High School. She loved to sing and had auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent.

On the night of the attack she had text her mum to say she was “extremely excited” to be at the concert.

Her mum Charlotte said her daughter “packed so much” into her 15 years, always made people laugh and was a “hugely talented singer” who had a promising future ahead of her.

Sir John Saunders, chairman of the inquiry into the attack, said: ““Believe it or not there are times when even lawyers are lost for words and this is one of them. Can I just say – what a talent, what a waste, what a lovely person.”

Her memory lives on through a performing arts trust founded in her honour.

Alison Howe, 45, and Lisa Lees, 43

Lisa Lees (Image: PA)

At the inquiry into the attack Lisa, from Oldham, was described as “the heart and soul of her family” who made a real difference to the lives of others.

Inquiry chairman Sir John Saunders said: “Lisa Lees was a much loved mother, grandmother, wife and daughter.

“She also had a very successful career, among other things she used her skills to help children who were terminally ill.

“In that way she helped both them and their families.

“As I have heard she had given a great deal but she had so much more to give.”

Alison Howe (Image: PA)

Alison, also from Oldham, left behind two daughters and four stepsons.

She was “adored” by her family and loved being a wife, stepmum and mum.

Her husband, Stephen, said his wife was “the one who gelled the family together as a family unit” and “would be forever in our hearts and minds”, the inquiry heard.

Sir John said: “Alison Howe played an enormous part in her extended family.

“She has been described as the glue that held them all together.

“What happened on May 22 2017 has left an enormous gap in their lives.

“She also brought happiness to a large circle of friends.

“She had worked in the past as a nurse.

“She was a force for good.”

Kelly Brewster, 32

Kelly Brewster (Image: PA)

Kelly Brewster, from Sheffield had been to the Ariana Grande concert with her sister.

Ms Brewster was the happiest she had ever been in life, her family said, having travelled the world and been ready to settle down and start a family. She had just that day had an offer accepted on a house with her fiance.

Nell Jones, 14

Nell Jones (Image: Arena Inquiry)

Clever and kindhearted, Nell is remembered as someone who always had time for fellow pupils at Holmes Chapel School. Following her death, her friends, classmates and teachers at the school set to work to design and build a community space in her name.

She was from Goostrey, Cheshire.

The inquiry into the attack was told that every day was an adventure for Nell who “lit up” her family with her youthful energy and passion for life.

Her mother remembers her daughter as a “beautiful girl, inside and out”.

Sir John Saunders, chairman of the public inquiry into the bombing, said: “Nell Jones was a talented 14-year-old and on May 22 2017 she didn’t have a care in the world.

“She had a successful and happy life opening out in front of her. She had everything. She had very good friends and enjoyed life to the full, and made the best of everything.

“To lose all that is a tragedy and is so unfair. I can only say to her family, friends and all those who knew her and loved her, I feel for your loss.”

Michelle Kiss, 45

Michelle Kiss (Image: Manchester Evening News)

Michelle was from Whalley in Lancashire’s Ribble Valley. Speaking at her funeral, Michelle’s husband, Tony Kiss, urged well-wishers to honour her memory by supporting children’s charity Derian House, because ‘she lived for her children’.

He said: “Michelle was a devoted mother, daughter and sister, and family was at the heart of everything she did. She lived for her children and we would really like her memory to live on by helping to support a local childrens’ charity – Derian House.”

A family friend told the inquiry into the attack: “She loved life and she wanted to make every day count, and she had a natural ability to bring people together.

“He and Michelle were so proud of their children and very very happy.

“The children were Michelle’s first priority and love. They inspire Tony every day with their love and their drive in everything they do, They share this quality with Michelle, and Tony is so grateful that this endures in them.”

Sorrell Leczkowski, 14

Sorrell Leczkowski (Image: Arena Inquiry)

Sorrell Leczkowski dreamt of being an architect so she could build her mum a house.

The teenager, from Adel, Leeds, will always be remembered for her ‘love of life and her hopes and dreams for the future’, her relatives 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.”

Sorrell, who attended Allerton High School in Leeds, was described as clever and determined, loved school and had already planned out her future, to study architecture at Columbia University in New York.

The institution’s architecture society later made her an honorary member.

Elaine McIver, 43

Elaine McIver (Image: PA)

Elaine McIver was in the foyer of Manchester Arena with her partner Paul when the bomb went off.

Elaine had served with Cheshire Police for 19 years. “The most indisputable fact about Elaine was that she cared and she loved”, her family said. She had a huge heart, was thoughtful beyond belief and would do anything for anyone.

“Her kindness, love and ability to know what we were all thinking, feeling or needed was a true asset and made her unique and irreplaceable.”

Inquiry chairman Sir John Saunders said: “It is not only her family’s and her partner’s loss but it is also society’s loss that she died on this night.”

Wendy Fawell, 50

Wendy Fawell (Image: PA)

Wendy Fawell was a former primary school worker from Otley, West Yorkshire. The inquiry into the attack heard Mrs Fawell loved her job and her children, who were “always paramount in her thoughts and deeds”.

She was described as a “fun person” and “the life and soul of a party” whose caring nature “meant she tried to mother everyone”.

Sir John Saunders, chairman of the public inquiry into the bombing, said: “Wendy Fawell loved children, not just her own but others that she worked with. Not only did she love working with them but she had a great talent for it and many children benefited from her care.

“She died as she lived, doing things for other people.”

Eilidh MacLeod, 14

Eilidh MacLeod (Image: Arena Inquiry)

Eilidh MacLeod was full of the joy of teenage adventure when her life was taken from her.

Days before the bomb the 14-year-old left her home on Barra – a remote island in the Outer Hebrides – to see Ariana

The death of Eilidh, in a city 400 miles from home, touched everyone in her island community.

“She had spent a wonderful weekend away from the island, going shopping, going to nice cafés, going to the cinema and then going to her pop idol’s concert”, Parish priest Father John Paul MacKinnon said.

“She was the happiest she had ever been and that’s what we hold onto today – the happiness of Eilidh’s life.”

Sir John Saunders, chairman of the inquiry into the attack said: “Eilidh lived on the beautiful island of Barra and the beauty of the surroundings where she was brought up shone out in her personality.

“She enriched the lives of many.

Sir John added: “Courtney was talented, hard-working and would have had a successful and fulfilling life.

“As we have heard, after her death the news came through that she had gained first class honours in her first-year exams at university.

“Ironically she wanted to be a criminal psychologist, a dream she would never realise. However good she became as a criminal psychologist, I doubt she would have been able to understand the cruel criminal act that so tragically took her life.”

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