Singer Ed Sheeran’s final Newcastle gig was filled with emotion for the families of Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry as he sported a t-shirt and wristband promoting the Trust created as a lasting legacy to the couple.
The international star was a favourite of 19-year-old Liam and both he and girlfriend Chloe, 17, had gone to see his Divide Tour, in April 2017 at Metro Radio Arena.
A month later, the young couple were among the 22 killed in a terrorist attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena.
On Sunday, their families were in the audience for the last night of Sheeran’s three-gig stint at St James’ Park, where the star appeared on stage for his encore wearing a blue Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust t-shirt and wristband.
The gifts had been presented to the singer ahead of his show by Chloe and Liam’s families.
The singer’s hit single ‘Perfect’ was played at the couple’s funeral and has since become synonymous with the pair described as “perfect” for each other.
The show was described as “amazing” but “emotional” by Chloe and Liam’s families - Mark and Lisa Rutherford and Caroline Curry and Liam’s younger brother Zack, who had to overcome their own fears to attend the gig - which saw around 150,000 people snap up tickets over the three nights.
Caroline said: “When Ed Sheeran announced he was coming to Newcastle, Zack straight away said he wanted to go.
“But initially I couldn’t do it. The last time I was booking tickets, it was with Chloe and Liam. But when he announced another date, and Zack asked again, I spoke to Lisa and I just thought let’s do it.
“Zack really wanted to go, he wanted to go and see what Liam had seen and to see what all the fuss was about.”
The families already had tickets for the final night and after being in contact with the singer’s management, they were invited back stage ahead of the gig - part of the tour their children had been to, last year.
Lisa said: “Right up until the night, I wasn’t sure if I was going to go. But we all knew how much Zack wanted to go, so we did it for him.
“When we met him, we gave him a wrist band and he put it on straight away. We spoke about the Trust and about the kids and had photos taken.
“We showed him the t-shirts and asked if he would wear one. He chose the blue one. We come away thinking he wouldn’t wear it, but then he came on for the encore wearing it. It was just amazing.”
Lisa added: “Going into the stadium, there are no other words to describe it. It was terrifying. We were so nervous. Throughout the concert we were just looking around us.
“But I’m glad we came. We were so focused on the band being on his wrist, he wore it next to a black band so the pink and blue really stood out.
“And everytime they zoomed in on him playing the guitar you could see it. We just felt so proud.”
Caroline said: “When he sang Perfect it was so emotional. He had asked us earlier what our favourite song was and we told him it was Perfect. When you hear the words, it’s just like Liam singing it to Chloe.
“We could just imagine what Liam would have been like, he would have been in his element while Chloe would have been sitting there rolling her eyes at him.”
The Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust was created by their parents as a lasting legacy to the couple, to help inspire and to support young performers and sportspeople to reach their full potential - something the Chloe and Liam were robbed the chance of doing.
Chloe, from Marsden, was a talented performer while Liam, from Biddick Hall, was a gifted cricketer.