'A family loving guy': Philip Tron remembered at Manchester Arena Inquiry

Philip Tron's family have paid tribute to heaven's new "Geordie ambassador" at the Manchester Arena Inquiry. Credit: Family Photo

Philip Tron's family have paid tribute to him in the latest pen portrait to be heard at the Manchester Arena Inquiry.

Philip was at the arena with his partner's daughter, Courtney Boyle - they were waiting to pick up Courtney's sister Nicole when they were both killed in the explosion.

Philip's mum, June Tron, and his uncle, Ken Mullen, were at Manchester Magistrates Court with Mr Mullen reading the pen portrait in a pre-recorded video.

The commemorative statement was interspersed with other videos of Philip that had been produced by his nephew, Luke, who Ken said was like a younger brother to Phil.

Mr Mullen described Philip as someone with a huge personality, who had a "huge heart" and a "good sense of humour".

He said that his nephew had been a joker; had loved football and Newcastle United and enjoyed socialising with his friends, but that he disliked having to be the person who got the round in.

  • Ken Mullen remembers his nephew Philip Tron

Mr Mullen said that his nephew enjoyed being outside and meeting new people when he worked, "Philip was the go-to person for family and friends for any practical jobs," he said

"This is one of the ways he’s most missed, the friendly voice at the end of the phone to see what the problem was and how he could fix it."

He added that the pub where Philip used to work has re-named its toilets as "bonnie lads" and "bonnie lasses" in tribute to the way he used to greet people when they entered the bar.

He said that heaven now had a new "Geordie ambassador" who would be waiting to greet you as you entered.

Philip Tron with his mum, June, and uncle, Ken. Credit: Family Photo

The inquiry heard how Philip's mum had gone to a bad place for many months following her son's death.

Mr Mullen said that she now posts on Facebook every Monday night at 10:31pm, giving Philip an update on her life, which she had considered ending but was told that it was a source of comfort to many others.

Philip had been one of five siblings, who Mr Mullen said were called the 'famous five' growing up.

Phil's sister Vicky said: "He had a huge bright smile that reminds me of my own, this makes me sad as I am caught in a moment of loss when I am having a moment of happiness. He was a very protective and proud brother."Whilst his brother Andrew said that he misses his cheeky laugh and sense of humour with "the exaggerated stories that he would tell".

Mr Mullen said that there were some positives from the attack, such as the close friendships they have formed with other bereaved families and the swan nurses who supported the family after the bombing.

He also singled out Aaron Lee, a former police officer and now firefighter, who last year ran 22 10 km races in memory of the victims of the attack.

The chairman of the inquiry, Sir John Saunders, thanked the family for the commemorative statements for introducing a "welcome touch of humour to a very affectionate tribute".

The inquiry has been adjourned until next week when the rest of the pen portraits will be heard.

You can read of all the pen portraits here.