Family lead Lee Rigby tributes

Memorial services for Drummer Lee Rigby have been held in his home city of Manchester and in Woolwich, with his family paying tribute at the spot in south London where the 25-year-old soldier was killed last Wednesday.

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Murdered soldier's sisters 'upset you left us so early'

A teddy bear bought by murdered soldier Lee Rigby for his son, Jack, sits alongside a family photograph. Credit: PA Wire

Lee Rigby's stepfather Ian read out a tribute from his younger sisters, Courtney and Amy, which described him as their "hero".

It said: "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. We love you Lee, goodnight."

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Family of murdered soldier shocked at attack on UK soil

Lee Rigby's mother and stepfather Lyn and Ian Rigby and his wife Rebecca Rigby. Credit: PA Wire

Asked about the shock of the attack being on British soil, Lee Rigby's wife Rebecca, said: "You don't expect it to happen when he's in the UK. You think they're safe. He's walked up and down that road so many times before."

Ian Rigby said: "When he is in Afghanistan you come to terms with it. You know the dangers. You don't expect something like that on your doorstep. It's very difficult."

Soldier's final text message to 'one in a million mum'

Lyn Rigby, the mother of murdered soldier Lee Rigby. Credit: PA Wire

The last text message Lee Rigby sent his mother before he was brutally attacked on the streets of Woolwich was a touching tribute to his "best friend".

He wrote:

"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 and love you loads."

Soldier's family: 'Our hero, we are so proud'

Lee Rigby's stepfather Ian read out a statement on behalf of and prepared by the whole family:

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

When he 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 until he calmed down, until he was about 15 and then he got too big and 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 and he was very much a family man, looking out for his wife, young son Jack, younger sisters, whom in turn 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 an uncle and he adored all his family.

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

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

Soldier's widow: 'I love Lee and I always will'

Rebecca Rigby, the widow of murdered soldier Lee Rigby. Credit: PA Wire

The devastated widow of murdered soldier Lee Rigby fought back tears as she spoke of her love and pride for him.

Rebecca Rigby, mother of their two-year-old son Jack, said: "I love Lee and always will. I am proud to be his wife and he was due to come up this weekend so we could continue our future together as a family.

"He was a devoted father to our son Jack and we will both miss him terribly."

She was joined by the 25-year-old's family at a media conference at the Regimental HQ of his unit, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers at Bury in Greater Manchester.

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Charity donations pour in after soldier murdered

The RIP Woolwich Soldier Facebook page was set up in the wake of Drummer Lee Rigby's death. Credit: Facebook

A fundraising page set up in memory of Drummer Lee Rigby has raised more than £60,000 in the wake of his murder of the streets of Woolwich.

The JustGiving page appears to have been created by the founder of a Facebook group called RIP Woolwich Soldier which has 1.4 million 'likes'.

The RIP Woolwich Soldier fundraising page has had more than £60,0000 in donations. Credit: JustGiving.com

The money raised is being donated to the charity Help for Heroes, whose website crashed in the wake of the soldier's death due to a surge in internet traffic.

Read: Donation surge crashes Help for Heroes website

Help For Heroes 'overwhelmed' by extra donations

The charity Help For Heroes has been swamped with donations, leading to its website crashing after Drummer Lee Rigby was murdered while wearing one of its tops.

Help For Heroes offered its thanks for the "extraordinary demonstration of support" which had taken it by surprise.

Posting a statement on its holding page, it said:

Since the sad news emerged that a serving soldier had been murdered in Woolwich, Help for Heroes has been overwhelmed with people spontaneously showing their support for the Armed Forces.

Our website is struggling to cope with this overwhelming reaction from the British public, some of whom are choosing to buy T shirts and hoodies.

This sudden surge of interest in the work we're doing to help the wounded and their families has taken us completely by surprise.

We just want to help, and all funds we receive will be used to provide direct, practical support to those affected by their service to our country.

We ask all our volunteers, fundraisers and donors to remember Lee Rigby's family, colleagues and friends.

Thousands of people have visited our website wishing to donate or to buy H4H T-shirts in an extraordinary demonstration of support and defiance of terrorism.

We are working hard to respond to this level of activity.

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