'Made for each other': Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry remembered at Manchester Arena Inquiry

Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry's families have been telling the Manchester Arena Inquiry the young couple's "love story". Credit: Family Photo

The families of Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry have been telling the couple's "love story" in the latest pen portrait at the Manchester Arena Inquiry.

Chloe and Liam, both from South Shields, had been a couple for almost three years when they were killed in the attack in May 2017 and their parents said they had "wanted to be together forever".

Caroline Curry and Mark and Lisa Rutherford all spoke at Manchester Magistrates Court as they delivered the emotional and heartfelt story of two young people who had planned their lives together.

Liam, who was 19 when he died, was described by his mum as being "quiet and reserved" and an excellent sportsman who loved his cricket.

She also told the inquiry that he had taken part in several cycling challenges for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation following the death of his grandad some years earlier.

Chloe's parents said that she loved to sing and performed in stage shows growing up, including in a performance of Annie at the Newcastle Theatre Royal.

Her dad said she would have been happy just to clean the stage for the chance to be on it.

A slideshow of pictures of the couple, with Chloe singing 'Somewhere only we know', was also shown.

  • Chloe's dad Mark paid tribute to her at the inquiry

Chloe's family spoke of how she was due to start an apprenticeship in travel and tourism in the summer of 2017 after completing studies in music performance at Newcastle College.

Mark Rutherford said: "There was so much living still to be done, so much life and so much love to share, all the stories still to tell and all the dreams to be dreamt, they had so many plans and holidays to have."

He added that the couple were planning to travel to New York at Christmas, as part of a joint present from both families and that they had plans for the future to buy a flat, get married and have children.

He also spoke of how his daughter loved to write songs, calling it her "secret passion" and that she was in a band with her friend Amy called 'Two Notes'.

  • Liam Curry's mum speaks about how he and Chloe had planned their lives together

Liam was in his first year of a Sports Science degree at Northumbria University, a place that he attended so that he could remain close to Chloe, he had told his mum before he died that he wanted to become a Police Officer.

He was working as a cocktail barman at the time of his death with his mum calling him "our very own Tom Cruise of the Tyne".

Northumbria University allowed Liam to graduate posthumously with his cohort in 2019, with his brother Zack collecting his First-Class degree on his behalf at the graduation ceremony.

She also spoke of how Liam's dad, Andrew, had passed away with lymphoma blood cancer just 8 weeks before the bombing.

She said: "Chloe was at Liam's side to support him. She was there to hold and comfort him.

"Liam was assuming a new responsibility. He was the man of the house. He showed great dignity and courage.

"Only eight weeks after the loss of his dad, evil ripped out our family's hearts and stole my baby boy.

"There are not enough words in the world to describe the pain I feel. It's an unbearable pain that is never-ending - a searing pain. Chloe was Liam's rock."

  • Lisa Rutherford speaks of her grief

Lisa Rutherford concluded the pen portrait by saying through tears: "Just for today, we have been sharing a love story. A story about two bairns who fell in love.

"Two beautiful young people with so much love in their hearts and so much hope for their lives together.

"And to share with their beautiful families, who have, now, and would have become one.

"Liam and Chloe came into this world with nothing, nothing at all, but have left it with nothing but love.

"They remain with us as part of our lives always, we have shared their story to remind us all that the greatest thing in life is to be loved and to love in return."

The chairman to the inquiry, Sir John Saunders, said: "All of us and everyone watching would have found that intensely and profoundly moving.

"All our hearts go out to you."

You can read of all the pen portraits here.