Joint Funeral For Manchester Attack Victims

A joint funeral has taken place for South Shields couple Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford, who died in the Manchester Arena attack.

Mourners for Liam Curry, 19, and Chloe Rutherford, 17, were asked to wear pink or blue for the service at St Hilda's Church in their home town. 

The teenagers were among the 22 people killed in the terror attack on the Ariana Grande concert last month.

Miss Rutherford was studying music at college and was about to start an apprenticeship in travel while her boyfriend was studying for a degree in sport and exercise science at Northumbria University.

The Rev Fr Chris Fuller addressed the mourners who packed the church and several hundred outside, telling them: 

"Chloe and Liam were and still are an image of love. Inseparable in life, inseparable in death, inseparable now with the angels of heaven.''

Two white coffins bedecked with flowers were carried in to the church together.

Flowers in the two hearses spelled out the words "Sis'' and "Son Liam''.

Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford Funeral

The couple had long-term plans to get married and have children, the service was told.

The teenagers had got to know each other as Liam was a keen member of Marsden Cricket Club where Chloe's older brother Scott played.

Scott paid this emotional tribute to them:

"To my beautiful little sister, from the moment you entered my life, I've watched you mature into a woman. You've always been the sensible sibling with a permanent smile on your face. One that I won't ever forget... Liam, look after he like you always did. You're both at peace now from this cruel world. Sleep tight my angels. I love you both so much, and can't wait till I hear those voices again."

Humanist celebrant Ian Hunter told the service how Chloe had supported her boyfriend following the death of his father Andrew from cancer.

"Liam was there to provide strength and comfort for his mum and family, assuming a new role. He was the man of the house, there to protect and take care of everyone, that was a mantle he carried with immense dignity and great courage. She was his rock, their love for each other was just getting stronger.''

The pair aimed to save up to get a flat together, two years later get married, and start a family in another two, the service heard.

Miss Rutherford had already printed business cards for her job in a travel agents, while Mr Curry wanted to join the police.

Mr Hunter said: 

"The rest we know. Too tragic, too sad, and here we are now, when we wish we weren't. How to make sense of something that's never, ever going to make sense?''

The two coffins were carried out of the church as a recording of Chloe singing Somewhere Only We Know by Keane was played.

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