Manchester Bombing: Families of victims Chloe and Liam want them remembered as 'two kids in love'

Six people from the North East died in the terrorist attack on 22 May 2017. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The parents of a teenage couple who died in the Manchester Arena bombing say they want their children to be remembered as "two kids in love".

Chloe Rutherford's parents Mark and Lisa have been speaking alongside Liam Curry's mother Caroline, following the third volume into the inquiry of the Manchester bombing being published today (2 March).

The final report from the inquiry found that the bomber Salman Abedi could have been stopped.

On the 22nd of May 2017, 22 people died after Abedi carried out a suicide bombing at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.

It killed 22 people, including six from the North East.

These were Philip Tron from Gateshead, who was waiting to pick up his partner's daughter Courtney Boyle; Angelica and Marcin Kliss, who were waiting to pick up their daughters as the concert finished; and childhood sweethearts Chloe and Liam from South Shields.

The parents of Chloe and Liam, who were just 17 and 19, told ITV Tyne Tees how the tragedy has been devastating, especially as the pair were just "starting out in life".

Mr Rutherford said: "Hopefully the charity that we've got is creating a lasting legacy for them, and all the people who've been given opportunities through the charity make their name live on. That's all we want."

What happened the night of the terrorist attack has been the subject of a long running inquiry looking at what happened that night and what lessons could be learnt .

For the past two and a half years, the inquiry has been trying to establish if any those who died that night could have been saved, and what went wrong with the security services that allowed Abedi to carry out the terrorist attack.

The final report from the inquiry into the attack found that there was a "significant missed opportunity to take action," which may have prevented the bombing from taking place.

It found that had two crucial bits of intelligence been acted on, that Salman Abedi might have been stopped.

  • Watch Amy Lea's interview from 2 March with Lisa Rutherford, Mark Rutherford and Caroline Curry - the family of Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry.

Speaking after the report was published, Chloe's father Mark said: "I absolutely hate him [Abedi]. I absolutely hate his family, his friends everyone who's associated with him -there's more than two people involved this event, and I will never ever forgive any of them."

His wife Lisa said it remained hard to comprehend that their children were no longer alive.

"For things like today at the Old Bailey and then the inquiry to take long, to be honest I think we've felt for a while they're just away," she said.

"We haven't got to a point where we're actually believing that they're gone. It might sound silly but it's because it's become a process that we've had to get through.

"We're just totally devastated."

The words from the inquiry's chair today have been bitter and hollow for the families of those from the region who died that night in 2017.

Caroline Curry said: "It's absolutely devastating. That it could have been stopped and that there were other opportunities right up until moments before.

"It starts with that 'significant missed opportunities'. It's unforgivable."

Childhood sweethearts Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry from the North East died in the attack

The Curry's and Rutherford's had only met a few times before their children died nearly six years ago. They have since become united in their grief

Mrs Rutherford said:"We've been thrown into the worst situation ever. I know for me and Caroline if I'm down she lifts me and vice versa."

She spoke of the support in the North East, particularly from their home town of South Shields and said it was them that had kept the families going.

June Tron lost her son Philip in the attack:

Also in Manchester for the final report being published, was June Tron, the mother of Philip who was also a victim.

She said: "Whenever I do anything like this and I do an interview, I always think they're sick of seeing my face or hearing me, but I always say 'well I do it for the 22.'

"I don't want them forgotten no matter what, and that's what it's all about - those twenty two people and the injured. There's a lot of seriously injured people and people mentally you know injured, it's for them all. They shouldn't be forgotten."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...