Manchester Arena bombing victim Martyn Hett will 'live on as inspiration'

Manchester Arena bombing victim Martyn Hett will "live on as an inspiration"
Manchester Arena bombing victim Martyn Hett will "live on as an inspiration"
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The mother of Manchester Arena bombing victim Martyn Hett said he will "live on as an inspiration", as she prepares for his funeral.

The service is being held at Stockport Town Hall today and will be screened in the street outside for people who cannot fit into the venue.

The 29-year-old PR manager, known for his tattoo of Coronation Street stalwart Deirdre Barlow, was one of 22 people killed when suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated a device as crowds left an Ariana Grande concert.

Speaking to Sky News, his mother, Figen Murray, and stepfather, Stuart Murray, said it was only after his death that they realised how well known Mr Hett was through social media.

Mrs Murray said: "I'm totally and utterly gobsmacked.

"And it seems that he was fearless about life as well because he wasn't frightened of talking about his own death.

"He actually had discussed and planned his funeral the way he wanted to exit."

She said Mr Hett had wanted to have two white horses at his funeral and for everyone to dress in black "with something fabulous".

She added: "It's going to be almost theatrical actually."

She said her son, who appeared on reality shows Tattoo Fixers and Come Dine With Me, had the ability to make other people feel special.

She said: "He will live on as an inspiration to people."

The couple said they forgave suicide bomber Abedi.

Mr Murray said: "I think he's just a sad, misled person.

"He stood behind Martyn and Martyn had a wonderful life and this person just wasted their life.

"What makes me feel better is this just overwhelming love in the world that I have experienced and seen."

The family have asked for donations to the Kidscan Children's Cancer Charity, Beechwood Children's Bereavement Service and Beacon Counselling in Mr Hett's memory.

A funeral service is also due to be held today for 15-year-old victim Megan Hurley, from Halewood, Merseyside.

Rev Jane Durham, from St Nicholas Church, Halewood, where the funeral will be held, said: "The pain of losing Megan has been deeply felt in our community and our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends, as well as all those who are grieving for others affected by the Manchester atrocity."