The devastated father of a South Shields teenager who was killed in the Manchester terrorist bomb attack has thanked the people of the town for their support.
Mark Rutherford addressed the crowds at a concert held in honour of his daughter, Chloe Rutherford, 17, and her 19-year-old boyfriend, Liam Curry, who were killed in the Manchester bombing.
Mr Rutherford said he wanted to thank everyone in the town for all the support the families have been given since Chloe and Liam died in the Manchester Arena bomb blast
He said: “We didn’t expect anything like what everyone has been doing. The amount of love and support you have shown all of us has been fantastic.”
Thousands gathered at the Amphitheatre on the town’s seafront last night for the Together Forever concert – a night of music in memory of the two teenagers and a show of unity for their families.
People waved blue and pink balloons and many wore t-shirts in the colours for the young sweethearts.
The amount of love and support you have shown has been fantasticMark Rutherford
The couple were among the 22 killed when a suicide bomber struck at the end of the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on May 22.
Their deaths left family, friends and the community where they grew up shocked and heartbroken. A number of balloon releases have taken place across South Tyneside in tribute to the pair and a book of condolence has also been opened at South Shields Town Hall where people can pay their own tributes.
Last night young and old alike gathered to listen to performances by a number of local artists.
Among those who took to the stage were Stevie Tennant, Lewis Curry Duo, Scott Keirs, Dan Elliott, Lauren Amour and Taylor Payne.
Throughout the night, people had the chance to write on cards their own memories of Liam and Chloe and place them in a memorial box. These will then be shared with their families.