'He was the centre of our world': John Atkinson remembered at Manchester Arena inquiry

The Manchester Arena Inquiry has heard the pen portrait of John Atkinson from his family. Credit: Family Photo

The family of John Atkinson, one of the 22 victims of the Manchester Arena attack, have paid tribute to him at the Manchester Arena Inquiry.

The inquiry was told how John was the "heart and soul" of his family and that his death has left a "huge void".

John's family also spoke of how he loved his job working with young adults with autism and behavioural difficulties, his parents' statement also said how John was extremely clever with a Mensa IQ of 137 at just eight years old.

John had two older sisters Laura and Stacey, and one younger sibling, Amy. The family's statements were read by legal representatives.

  • John's parent's statement is read by one of the family's legal representatives

John's parents' statement said: "Since John's untimely death our lives have been torn apart.

"He was the centre of our world. We miss him so much, his laugh, his humour, his personality, his love for his family ... we will miss everything about him.

"Now there's a huge void in our family."

His sister Amy's statement read: "John was always there when I needed him.

"I have so many memories with my brother from playing out together as kids and going on holidays as families. But what I miss the most is always having him there, because he was never far away ever."

  • Statements from John's sisters Laura and Stacey, read by legal representatives

Laura said in her statement: "As he grew up, John became the most thoughtful, loving, caring young man I have ever come across.

"Why this has happened to John I'll never understand.

"I'll never get over what has happened to him and I don't think any of us can.

"He should be here with us. We've lost the biggest and best part of our puzzle."

Stacey's statement added: "That horrible day John was taken from us, my family has not been the same again and it never will."

The Chairman of the inquiry Sir John Saunders thanked the family's legal representatives for reading the statements to the court.

Read all the pen portraits here.