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Family of Drummer Lee Rigby thank the public

Drummer Lee Rigby Photo: Ministry of Defence

Murdered soldier Lee Rigby would not have wanted people to use his name as an excuse to attack others, his family said today.

Drummer Rigby's family said the 25-year-old's death had had a devastating effect on them, but said they were amazed by the worldwide support they had received.

Their tribute, issued through the Ministry of Defence came as an inquest into the soldier's death was opened and adjourned, during which it was revealed he had been working at the Tower of London on the day he died.

The family of Lee Rigby today thanked the public for the "overwhelming support" they had received and appealed for calm, saying in a statement: "We would like to emphasise that Lee would not want people to use his name as an excuse to carry out attacks against others."

The statement, given by members of Drummer Rigby's family, including mother and stepfather Lyn and Ian, wife Rebecca, and son Jack, added: "We would not wish any other families to go through this harrowing experience and appeal to everyone to keep calm and show their respect in a peaceful manner."

The family said the soldier's death had had a devastating effect on them but expressed their thanks for the overwhelming support they had received from the general public, army and the police.

"The generosity, kindness and sympathy expressed by everyone we have come into contact with has been truly staggering and is giving us the strength to carry on," the statement said.

"We have been amazed by the messages of support we have received from all across the globe."

They said they were "deeply touched" after visiting Woolwich, where Drummer Rigby was killed on May 22, and thanked those who had given them time and space to pay their own tributes.

Hundreds of flowers have been tied to the railings near Woolwich barracks, where he was based, and today the Queen was due to visit the area on a visit of the base of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Woolwich.

In their statement, Drummer Rigby's family added: "We all loved Lee deeply and we know that he loved us - we all miss him so much.

"He was a fun-loving, approachable young man with a smile that always managed to light up a room.

"We have heard so many stories about him from so many people and they have brought us great comfort.

"Lee loved life and he loved people. He had many friends from different walks of life - some with different religious beliefs and cultures. But this made no difference to Lee - he always treated others with the greatest of respect.

"Finally, once again we would like to thank everyone for their support. It has been very much appreciated and it is helping us so much during these difficult times. Thank You."

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