Manchester

Alan Henning: Memorial garden opens in Eccles

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Media captionAlan Henning's widow Barbara thanks everyone involved in creating the memorial garden

A memorial garden for the murdered charity volunteer Alan Henning has opened in his home town.

The taxi driver from Eccles, Greater Manchester, was taking aid to Syrian refugees in 2013 when he was kidnapped by militants from the so-called Islamic State. They killed him in October 2014.

His widow Barbara Henning said: "His death has left a huge hole in our lives which will never be filled."

She thanked organisers for the permanent memorial to "our Alan".

The design of the garden in the Eccles recreation ground is based on a clock face and features yellow flowers, inspired by the colour that was used to show solidarity with Mr Henning's family during his captivity and subsequent murder.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Alan Henning was on his fourth aid mission to Syria when he was captured

Mrs Henning said: "I'm so glad it is in a local park for the community to enjoy and be able to come and remember [Alan]."

Salford Mayor Paul Dennett said it was "a fitting tribute to a true Salford son".

Reverend Dr Anne-Louise Critchlow, chair of Churches Together, said: "So many people come to this recreation ground.

Image copyright BBC Sport
Image caption The memorial garden in Eccles was "a fitting tribute to a true Salford son"

"It is going to be a lovely place where they can be quiet... and think about Alan."

She added: "Alan's story has been very important to the people of Eccles."

Image caption Reverend Dr Anne-Louise Critchlow said Alan's story was important to the people of Eccles

A number of businesses donated materials for the garden.

It was planted after a collaboration between the Friends of Eccles group, Salford City Council and architects Urban Vision.

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