Local service for Saffie Roussos will be held in Tarleton

The people of Tarleton will pay their own tribute to the youngest victim of the Manchester Arena bombing, eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos.

Wednesday, 26th July 2017, 9:34 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:16 pm
The people of Tarleton will pay their own tribute to Saffie Roussos

While a funeral service will be held later today at Manchester Cathedral for Saffie, the last of the 22 victims to be laid to rest, a church service will also be held in Tarleton, the village where Saffie and her brother went to school.

The streets are still festooned with pink ribbons tied to gate posts and lampposts as a mark of remembrance.

Coaches have been laid on by a local firm to take people from the village and Leyland, where the Roussos family live and own a chip shop, to pay their respects at the funeral in Manchester, but some traumatised schoolfriends of Saffie's will attend the local service.

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Flowers laid at Tarleton Community Primary School, Tarleton, in the wake of the bombing in May

Chris Upton, headteacher of Tarleton Community Primary School, where Saffie was a pupil, described her as "simply a beautiful little girl".

Saffie, along with 21 others, seven of them aged under 18, died in the terror attack as fans streamed out of the Arena following an Ariana Grande pop concert.

The youngster was a huge fan of the US singer and had got tickets for the show as a Christmas present from her parents.

She was leaving, "happy and elated", after the show with her sister and mother when suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated his home-made bomb packed with nuts and bolts in the foyer of the Arena.

Flowers laid at Tarleton Community Primary School, Tarleton, in the wake of the bombing in May

Saffie died of multiple injuries.

The family have invited anyone touched by her death to attend the service at Manchester Cathedral to celebrate Saffie's short life and to take a single rose in her memory should they wish to take flowers.

Her older sister Ashlee Bromwich, 26, was also injured and her mother, Lisa Roussos, 48, was left with extensive injuries and taken to hospital unconscious and gravely ill.

After she came round, her first words were "She's gone, isn't she?" her husband Andrew said.

Speaking publicly for the first time on July 4, on what would have been Saffie's ninth birthday, Mr Roussos, 43, said: "We've lost everything. We have, we've lost everything, because life will just never be the same."

Mr Roussos, who also has a son, Zander, 10, described his daughter as a girl who wanted to be famous, loved the limelight, and singing and dancing in excitement, counted the days down to seeing her pop idol performing in Manchester.

A police investigation into the terror attack on May 22 is still ongoing.

The service in Manchester, led by the Very Rev Rogers Govender, Dean of Manchester Cathedral, begins at 1.45pm followed by a private cremation.