Soldier's family speak of 'hero'

The family of Lee Rigby, the soldier murdered on Wednesday in Woolwich, has spoken of its grief. Lee's stepfather called him a 'hero' and said the family were 'so, so proud' of him.

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Soldier's last text to mum: 'thank you, you're my best friend'

Lee's mother Lyn, step-father Ian, and wife Rebecca Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Lee's stepfather Ian, at times swallowing hard and breathing in to contain his emotions, continued:

"Lee was a man who loved people. He had many friends growing up in Middleton and on army duties all over the world.

He believed life was for living and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

Courtney and Amy his younger sisters wrote this for Lee: 'Rest in Peace Lee, we loved you so much, you didn't deserve this, you fought for your country and did it well. You will always be our hero we are just upset you left us so early. Love you Lee, goodnight.'

The last text he sent to his mum read, 'Goodnight mum, I hope you had a fantastic day today because you are the most fantastic and one in a million mum that anyone could ever wish for.

Thank you for supporting me all these years, you're not just my mum you're my best friend. So goodnight, love you loads."

Lee Rigby's family: "We are so, so proud of him"

Lee Rigby's family at a press conference this morning Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The grief-stricken family of Lee Rigby, the soldier murdered in Woolwich on Wednesday, came together this morning to read a statement about their 'hero'.

His sister Sara McClure, mother and stepfather Lyn and Ian Rigby, Rebecca Rigby, mother of their two year old son, Jack, mother in law Susan Metcalfe and brother in law Ray Dutton sat side by side at the Regimental HQ of his unit, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers at Bury in Greater Manchester today.

Lee's stepfather Ian read out a statement on behalf of and prepared by the whole family at the Regimental HQ of Lee's unit, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers at Bury in Greater Manchester:

"What can we say about Lee, our hero, we are so so proud of Lee.

When Lee was born the family adored him, he was a precious gift given to us. Lee had a fiery temper when he was younger, I used to sit on him to calm him down till he got too big at 15, then he used to sit on me.

Lee's dream growing up was always to join the army which he succeeded in doing, he was dedicated and loved his job.

Lee adored and cared a lot for his family, he was very much a family man, looking out for his wife, young son Jack, younger sisters, whom in turn they looked up to him, he always had a banter with them but would never ever let any harm come to them.

He was over the moon being a dad and uncle, he adored them all."

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