Saffie’s dad calls for bands join in ‘new Live Aid’

Southport Visiter - - Front Page - BY BETHANY WHITTINGHAM vis­iternews@south­portvis­iter.co.uk @SeftonE­cho

THE dad of the youngest vic­tim of the Manch­ester Arena bomb­ing has ap­pealed to some of the big­gest names in mu­sic to help stage a memo­rial con­cert.

An­drew Rous­sos, whose eight-year-old daugh­ter, Saffie, died when bomber Sal­man Abedi mur­dered 22 peo­ple at an Ari­ana Grande con­cert a year ago this week, is plan­ning a ma­jor event in her mem­ory.

Speak­ing to the BBC, An­drew, from Tar­leton, said: “I dread the thought of Saffie’s life be­ing re­mem­bered as a twominute silence. I want to cel­e­brate my daugh­ter. She was full of life, she loved mu­sic.”

An­drew has started to or­gan­ise a memo­rial con­cert, which he says will be held at Old Traf­ford Cricket Ground in Manch­ester on Sun­day, Au­gust 19.

He said the aim was to cre­ate “the fu­ture Live Aid”, and wants artists such as Chris Martin, Bono and Ed Sheeran to per­form.

Funds raised would help fu­ture victims and their fam­i­lies with fi­nan­cial sup­port.

Ap­peal­ing di­rectly to stars in­clud­ing Ed Sheeran and Coldplay singer Chris Martin, he said: “I’m plead­ing with you to get some names and help me put this con­cert to­gether.”

He also spoke about the fam­ily leav­ing their home be­cause “the mem­o­ries were too painful”.

In the weeks that fol­lowed the blast, the fam­ily’s chip shop in Ley­land, Lan­cashire, was flooded with flo­ral tributes.

The fam­ily have since moved away.

“Our life, our home and our busi­ness were in Ley­land, and Saffie was such a huge char­ac­ter and a mas­sive part of it,” An­drew said.

“To go back to that with­out her and to have those con­stant mem­o­ries would have been too hard.

“Saffie spent a lot of time with cus­tomers and was known and loved in the area.

“Even walk­ing around Tesco would have been dif­fi­cult as the aisles are the same and we would have been ex­pect­ing to see Saffie at ev­ery cor­ner.

“We don’t ever want to for­get Saffie, but be­ing in Ley­land the mem­o­ries would have been too painful.”

“We just wanted a fresh start – not to start again. There is no start­ing over af­ter some­thing like this – but to move some­where new and do our best to sup­port each other.”

He said that his fam­ily had “seen the worst of hu­man na­ture with what hap­pened”.

But he added: “There are a lot of good peo­ple out there and we have been over­whelmed by the love and sup­port peo­ple have shown. When an atroc­ity like this hap­pens and peo­ple say ‘this is wrong and we will sup­port you’ it is a lovely feel­ing and it does help you in your dark­est hours.

“The sup­port has been heart­felt and gen­uine and has come from right across the world.

“Noth­ing will ever bring Saffie back, but know­ing the pub­lic is be­hind you re­stores your faith in hu­man na­ture.”

Saffie, above, and, left, An­drew Rous­sos car­ries her cof­fin with her brother, Xan­der

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