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