South Shields school gives award in honour of Liam Curry

St Wilfrid's executive headteacher Brendan Tapping, left, with Lucy Atkinson and head of PE Paul Riddle.
St Wilfrid's executive headteacher Brendan Tapping, left, with Lucy Atkinson and head of PE Paul Riddle.

A new award honouring Liam Curry, who died in the Manchester bomb attack has been given to a Team GB acrobat who judges say shares his life-affirming characteristics.

Created by St Wilfrid’s RC College in South Shields, where Liam was a former pupil, it was presented to talented Lucy Atkinson, 16.

Award winners at St Wilfrid's

Award winners at St Wilfrid's

Teachers describe her as determined, conscientious, reliable, polite and a pleasure to teach – attributes they say were reflected in Liam.

Liam’s family, and that of his girlfriend Chloe Rutherford, 17, who died alongside him in the attack in Manchester in May, were present at the awards ceremony.

They included talented cricketer Liam’s brother Zach, a current Year 10 St Wilfrid’s pupil.

The school, which has described Liam’s death as “devastating”, says it is important he is remembered, and his good nature cherished by other pupils.

Head of PE, Paul Riddle, who presented Lucy with the annual sports-inspired award, said it was an honour to commemorate the life of a “fantastic” pupil.

He added: “Liam was a wonderful role model. He was caring, conscientious and had an excellent sense of humour.

“Liam put his all into everything he did from his school work to his sport which he loved, and he always strived to be the best he could be.

“We felt it was appropriate to create this award as Liam epitomised the characteristics of what we strive for in a St Wilfrid’s pupil.”

Mr Riddle said sixth former Lucy was a deserved recipient, as she displayed an incredible commitment to her studies and her gymnastics.

The award was given as part of a celebration evening recognising St Wilfrid’s pupil achievement.

Those who were among the first cohort to join Career College North East (CCNE) when it launched in 2015 – and who passed their two years of study this summer - were also recognised.

They included Callum Crutwell, 16, who won the new Employer Excellence Award.

CCNE, a partnership between St Wilfrid’s and South Tyneside College, teaches engineering, advanced manufacturing, computer science and marine to students aged just 14.

Executive headteacher Brendan Tapping said: “Whilst particular congratulations must be given to all the winners of the awards on their exceptional accomplishments, at St Wilfrid’s we make every effort to ensure that every child has successes to celebrate.

“We have no doubt that all of our students will excel in their future roles, and as we celebrate the achievements of our students, we take this opportunity to wish them well in their forthcoming studies and careers.”

Liam and Chloe were among 22 people killed by a suicide bomber at an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.