Manchester attack: Hundreds attend Alison Howe's funeral

Cortege outside church
Image caption Mourners gathered in Royton as the carriage arrived to the music of Simon and Garfunkel

Hundreds of mourners have attended the funeral of a mother who was killed in the Manchester terror attack while waiting for her daughters.

Alison Howe, 45, from Royton, was among 22 people who died in the suicide bombing at Manchester Arena on 22 May.

She was killed while waiting in the foyer with her friend, Lisa Lees, who also died.

Her husband Steve told the congregation at St Anne's Church in Oldham his wife was "beautiful inside and out".

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Image caption Alison Howe's stepson said she was "caring" and "beautiful"

She was "loyal, calm but also fiery and just perfect", he added.

Mourners sang the hymn The Lord of the Dance as the service began.

The couple had two daughters, Sasha and Darcy, who had gone to the Ariana Grande concert. Ms Howe also had four stepsons.

Stepson Harry told the congregation they were Mrs Howe's "Super Six".

Image caption One mourner wore a "Remember 22" T-shirt in reference to the number of victims of the attack

To warm applause, he said: "We will love you forever."

Simon and Garfunkel songs from the Bridge over Troubled Water album were played as mourners gathered, many clutching pink roses.

Mrs Howe's friend Sam read out a tribute on behalf of the victim's mother Sue, saying: "You were the reason why my heart beat, you were my world, my everything.

"I don't know how I will go on without you.

"I will love you for all eternity."

Image caption A tribute from Alison's mother Sue said "you were my world"

One of her friends of 30 years recalled her love of custard creams, dancing, kebabs, and cucumber and salad cream sandwiches.

The Rev James Read said: "Follow the example of Alison to build a better world, a world of peace."

'Spontaneous applause and pink carnations': Stewart Whittingham, BBC News

Alison Howe's husband, mother and children comforted each other outside the church as the funeral came to a close.

Her stepsons, one wearing a suit, helped carry her coffin from the church to the hearse.

Husband Steve and daughters Sasha and Darcy wept as it was placed next to a red heart of flowers and white roses spelling "ALI".

Spontaneous applause broke out among the hundreds of mourners who lined the route outside the church.

Some well-wishers shook the hand of a man who wore a black T-shirt to 'Remember the 22' in reference to the victims of the Manchester Arena bomb victims.

Dozens of single pink carnations were thrown on to the bonnet of the hearse as it was driven away.

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