Martyn Hett has been honoured with an Attitude Pride Award.
The PR Manager and former Attitude contributor was one of 22 innocent people who tragically lost their lives in Manchester earlier this year when a suicide bomber detonated a device outside an Ariana Grande concert.
There was an outpouring of grief around the world following the shocking incident, and as details of the victims emerged, Martyn’s incredible personality quickly began to touch the hearts of people far and wide.
Martyn’s love of pop culture attracted so many to follow him on social media, but it was his unmatched obsession with Coronation Street icon Dierdre Barlow that gave him such an hilariously endearing legacy.
“With Martyn, we were both sad old cows who loved soaps,” joked his boyfriend Russell Hayward, who got matching Ken and Diedre tattoos with Martyn during one particularly joyous night on the town a few years ago. “He taught me not to be embarrassed about what you like.”
His dedication to the character knew no bounds, and following the death of actress Anne Kirkbride, the pair went on Good Morning Britain to pay tribute to the Corrie stalwart, and Martyn then jumped at the chance to get a full Deirdre face tattoo when the E4 show Tattoo Fixers reached out to him.
Explaining why Martyn felt such an affinity to the character, he said: “She just is who she is, there are no airs and graces. And there were no airs and graces with Martyn.”
Russell has understandably found the entire ordeal too much to bare, and his loss is something he’s still struggling to fully accept. Admitting that he still floats in and out of denial, he explained: “I do feel incredibly blessed to have met him, to have had him in my life, been in love with him. I still don’t believe it. I’ve been crying and crying.”
Martyn’s younger sister, Louise, 19, echoed Russell’s sentiments, saying: “I still don’t believe it. I’ve been crying and crying.”
His death was made even more heartbreaking when friends revealed that Martyn had planned the trip of a lifetime to America which was just weeks away. He tragically never got to make the trip, but after chat show host Wendy Williams discovered he was supposed to visit the show, she paid an emotional tribute to him during an episode, and left a chair in the audience empty as a mark of respect.
Martyn was also a massive Mariah Carey fan, and the iconic diva reached out to his family after being told of his passing, and even sent a special live message during his funeral.
Despite being taken too soon, Martyn’s family are adamant that they will continue to live on with the spirit he exuded throughout every second of his life.
“Never waste a second of your life,” said Russell. “Don’t say no to any plans. Be yourself.”
You can read full interviews with each of the winners in the August issue of Attitude – out July 20.