Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Night of Emotion as Four Bombing Victims Mourned

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Night of Emotion as Four Bombing Victims Mourned

Article excerpt

Byline: Hannah Graham Reporter hannah.graham@trinitymirror.com

THE North East said goodbye to its four victims of the Manchester bombing last night with emotional balloon releases in their home towns.

Teenage sweethearts Liam Curry, 19, and Chloe Rutherford, 17, from South Shields, and Philip Tron, 32, and his partner's daughter Courtney Boyle, 17, from Gateshead, were among the 22 people killed in the suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena on Monday.

Last night, both towns paid tribute to those they had lost.

At Marsden Cricket Club, where Liam had played, the first game since the tragedy was an emotional one for many. After speaking with Liam's family, the club decided to go ahead with the fixture, using it as an opportunity to pay tribute to both of them. The couple met through the cricket club, and their families said they had been "inseparable" ever since.

Speaking before an audience of family, friends and team mates, Ryan Little, from the club, said: "There's not many words that can be said to describe what's gone on, or what will happen in the next weeks to come.

"Let's just make the night the best night possible, the kind of night Chloe and Liam had every single time they went out."

As the match began, balloons were released into the sky, while the ground echoed with a minute of applause. Beneath the club's flag, which flew at half mast, an area set aside for tributes overflowed with flowers and cards bearing messages celebrating Chloe and Liam's lives.

At the New Mill pub, in South Shields, hundreds of people gathered to fill the sky with pink and blue balloons in memory of the pair.

Organiser Shanice Martin said she had not expected the event to grow so large. "It was just a small event to give some respect to the family - I didn't know so many people would come," she said. "It's just affected everybody here, really. …

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