Manchester

Manchester attack: Martyn Hett's mother calls son 'iconic diva'

Martyn Hett Image copyright PA
Image caption Martyn Hett's stepfather said his life had not been wasted

The mother of a man killed in the Manchester Arena bomb attack said she has only happy memories of her "iconic" son.

Martyn Hett was one of 22 people killed by a bomb at the Manchester Arena after an Ariana Grande concert on Monday.

The 29 year old from Stockport, Greater Manchester, had been due to leave on a "trip of a lifetime" to America two days after the gig.

His mother Figen Murray said her son was "an experience. He was an icon".

'Iconic diva'

Mrs Murray said: "I have not been crying and sobbing and sort of breaking down. It will hit me at some point but, right this minute, I don't feel the need to be upset and cry.

"When I think of Martyn all I can think of is smiling because I have so many fond and happy memories.

"Martyn was an experience. He was an icon."

Mr Hett's father Paul Hett said his son was "inspirational" and an "extrovert".

He said: "Martyn always had to be the centre of attention, the centre attraction in everything.

"The crumb of comfort I take from this is he probably did more in 29 years than most people do in a lifetime."

A vigil is due to be held for Mr Hett on Sunday between 19:00 and 21:00 BST in Heaton Moor Park and everyone was welcome to attend, his partner Russell Hayward said.

Mrs Murray said her son was at the concert with friends and his "downfall" was probably going to the toilet towards the end of the concert.

Image caption Stuart and Figen Murray said they had said goodbye to Martyn Hett

She said: "I hear from his friends he was Snapchatting all the evening during the concert, singing, he was just having fun.

"He loved being there."

She said her son was a big fan of female musicians because, like them, he was "a diva".

Mr Hett's stepfather Stuart Murray said Martyn's visits were always "an occasion".

Both said Mr Hett would rather have died than survive with a serious injury.

'Bomber wasted life'

His mother said: "He just wanted to be fabulous all the time."

Mr Murray said Mr Hett "never wanted to get to 30" or "grow old and wrinkled" and had planned his own funeral, complete with white horses.

He had been due to fly to the USA on Wednesday for a two-month "trip of a lifetime" for which he had been saving for two years.

Mrs Murray said he was also planning to buy his flat and had been offered a big promotion at work.

Image caption Martyn Hett was a big Coronation Street fan and appeared on television with his Deirdre Barlow tattoo

When asked what she thought of the bomber, Salman Abedi, Mrs Murray said: "I have no feelings of hate or anger at all because I don't think this person deserves any of those emotions.

"I'm staying with my positivity for Martyn."

Mr Murray said: "I feel sad for them that they wasted their life for nothing.

"Martyn's life is not wasted, he did so much with it."

Mr Hett said more needs to be done to understand the roots of extremism.

'Something has to change'

He said Abedi was "a Mancunian" and it has to be discovered how he could be "turned into a killing machine".

He said: "It's not so much anger, it's more something needs to change because this will happen again and again, you can't stop this happening, it is impossible unless something changes to stop it at the root cause."

Mrs Murray said she knew Mr Hett was dead when she was woken by her daughter shortly after midnight to be told he was missing.

She said: "I just felt his energy wasn't there anymore."

Image copyright Hett family
Image caption Martyn Hett had been due to go to America for two months on Wednesday

Mr Murray said: "My first reaction was there are 20,000 people in the stadium, the chances he is involved are very small, you just think don't worry but Figen had a mother's instinct."

The couple said they had also held a farewell party for him on Friday ahead of his trip to America.

Mr Murray said: "We have said goodbye to him, it makes it easier that we parted on wonderful terms."

Mrs Murray said: "In a way he has said goodbye to everybody he loves and cares about."

More on this story