'She was a ray of sunshine': Georgina Callander remembered at Manchester Arena Inquiry

Georgina Callander has been remembered by her family at the Manchester Arena Inquiry. Credit: Family Photo

Georgina Callander has been remembered by her mum, dad and brothers in the latest "pen portrait" to be heard at the Manchester Arena Inquiry.

A pre-recorded message from Georgina's mum, Lesley Callander, was shown in Manchester Magistrates Court as she cannot bear to come to Manchester since the attack.

She opened the tribute by talking about how she had been with Georgina when she died at the Ariana Grande concert in May 2017 before saying the last three years have been a "nightmare".

She said: "I am and must be, living in a nightmare, I thought, as I looked down at Georgina clutched in my arms."

Mrs Callander also read tributes from Georgina's brothers Daniel and Harry.

On Thursday morning Georgina's dad, Simon, added his own commemorative statement in an emotional pre-recorded video.

Georgina, who was 18 when she died, was described as being "extremely caring with a loving soul" by her mum and the inquiry was told that she loved music, the marvel comic series, going to concerts and travelling to London with her mum to watch West End shows.

She was completing studies in Health and Social Care at Runshaw College when she died and was hoping to go to Edge Hill University to study pediatric nursing.

  • Lesley Callander paid tribute to her daughter in a pre-recorded video

Lesley said: "I never ever imagined in my entire life that I would have to express my catastrophic, distraught feelings in a pen portrait about the senseless pointless murder of my beautiful daughter Georgina."

She added that the loss of Georgina had "ruined" her life forever.

"I miss her infectious laughter every day and every night. Her personality grew from every corner and shone down, without a doubt, on everyone.

"She was a super amazing daughter. A daughter who was always smiling."

She continued: "I miss her with words I cannot possibly begin to describe, in fact there are no words.

"She was so gentle and loving. She lived life in a way that again I cannot find the words to describe her enthusiasm to live every day so positively and to the full."

  • Simon Callander pays tribute to his daughter

Simon Callander said that his daughter was as "bright as a button" with a "heart as big as the moon".

Mr Callander had to fight through tears as he remembered his daughter in a video shown to the inquiry.

He spoke of Georgina's love of sport growing up, saying that she had played for Bolton Wanderers girls team for a period of time growing up.

"Just a normal little girl, not a bad bone in her body. She gave so much love and had so much more to give," he added.

"All that potential snatched away by an evil person who didn't even know or care about my little girl.

"A person who didn’t know what a very special person he was about to murder. I hope he rots in the deepest, darkest part of hell.

"I am so proud to stand here and say that I am Georgina's dad, she changed my life and I will never get over losing her."

Georgina was described by her family as an Ariana Grande "superfan" and had previously met the singer. Credit: Family Photo

A video montage of pictures of Georgina was shown to the inquiry on Wednesday afternoon with some of her favourite songs playing in the background.

Lesley Callander also read further tributes from Georgina's brother's Daniel and Harry.

Daniel's statement said that his sister had a "passion" to care for people and a smile so big it "lit up the room".

"We all miss her dearly...we miss her smile, her laughter and abundance of love for everyone," it continued.

Her brother Harry's tribute said that Georgina was "good for the world and everyone in it".

Chairman to the inquiry, Sir John Saunders thanked the family for their tribute and for describing who Georgina was and who she could have become.

He also praised them for telling the court how her loss had affected them as people.