Saffie's brother and her best friend are boyfriend and girlfriend

Saffie Roussos' best friend Lily Swanson, 11 and her brother Xander, 12, are boyfriend and girlfriend and are united in supporting each other through their grief.

Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 5:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 5:21 pm
Saffie Roussos' brother Xander, 12 and her best friend Lily Swanson, 11. The pair are boyfriend and girlfriend.

Saffie, eight, who lived in Leyland with her family, was the youngest victim of the Manchester bombing a year ago.

Her death has devastated her family and her best friend Lily Swanson, 11, who lived just near Saffie has struggled to come to terms with losing such a unique and special friend.

However, the two families are buoyed by the beautiful relationship between Saffie’s brother Xander, 12 and her best friend Lily and the pair have now been boyfriend and girlfriend for approaching two years.

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Saffie Roussos' brother Xander, 12 and her best friend Lily Swanson, 11. The pair are boyfriend and girlfriend.

Saffie’s dad Andrew Roussos says: “Lily is Xander’s girlfriend and they have been a couple for almost two years.

“It is lovely. They are very similar characters and are both quite mature for their age.

“They call each other up and support each other.”

Andrew told the Lancashire Post how proud he is of Xander for showing a strength and maturity that belies his years.

Andrew says: “Xander at the age of 12 has had to move to a new area, left behind his friends and started a new school – all on top of losing his baby sister.

“What happened is going to affect him for the rest of his life but he is keeping his chin up the best he can.

“Xander is a remarkable young man and we are very proud of him. We draw strength from each other.”

Lily’s dad Mike Swanson adds: “Xander is a great lad and I have a lot of time for him.

“This time last year, when Andrew was in hospital at Lisa’s side and they had found out about Saffie, I offered to take Xander away from the hospital environment as he was only 11.

“But when I asked Xander if he wanted to come back with us, his reply was: ‘No, my dad needs me.

“It was such a mature and caring thing to say and he would not leave his dad’s side.

“Every blow Andrew took, Xander took as well.

“He is a very caring young man.”