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Manchester bombing victim Martyn Hett remembered one year on

The horrific terrorist attack took the lives of 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert

2018-05-22

Today marks the year anniversary of the horrific Manchester bombing which killed 22 innocent people who were enjoying an Ariana Grande concert.

One of those was PR manager and former Attitude contributor Martyn Hett who died when a suicide bomber detonated a device outside the Manchester Arena.

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 will always struggle to fully accept.

Last year, Martyn was given an honorary Attitude Pride Award for being overwhelmingly proud of his sexuality and Russell admitted 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.”

 

Hi my name's martyn and I can't remember the last time I didn't wear dungarees

A post shared by Martyn Hett (@martynhett) on

Martyn's younger sister, Louise, 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 and had saved for two years to afford the journey.

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.”

The set of Coronation Street have since added a memorial garden to all of those who passed during the horrific terrorist attack.

Sharing images of the memorial on Twitter, Russell wrote: "Cannot thank @itvcorrie enough for acknowledging Martyn on the new set. To know he will be a part of Coronation St forever is the most comforting feeling.

"The kindness the cast and crew have shown is beyond anything I’d ever have imagined."

The stars of Coronation Street were among the many to pay tribute to Martyn following his untimely death last May, while the soap's float at Manchester Pride last August also paid tribute to the late social media personality.

Watch Russell and Louise talk about their amazing friend, brother and boyfriend: