Manchester Arena bombing victim described as ‘bonny Geordie lad’

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Manchester Arena bombing victim Philip Tron has been described as a “bonny Geordie lad” at the public inquiry into the terror attack.

Mr Tron, 32, from Gateshead, was murdered along with 21 others by suicide bomber Salman Abedi.

He had agreed to drive from his home in Gateshead with girlfriend Deborah Boyle and her daughters, Courtney, 19, and her younger sister, Nicole, who was attending the Ariana Grande concert.

Manchester Arena Inquiry
Philip Tron died along with his girlfriend’s daughter Courtney Boyle (Manchester Arena Inquiry/PA)

Both were killed, along with 20 others and hundreds left injured in the attack on May 22 2017.

Mr Tron’s uncle, Ken Mullen accompanied his mother, June, at the inquiry in Manchester, which is hearing tributes by family members of the 22 victims.

He was one of five children, with two brothers and two sisters, one his twin, Rachel, the hearing was told.

After leaving Joseph Swann High School he preferred working with his hands,  outdoors or driving, Mr Mullen said.

He really disliked periods out of work and would turn his hand to anything, described as a “Jack of all trades” who would sometimes work behind the bars of local pubs.

Mr Tron had previously been married and had a daughter, Olivia, born in 2010, but she lived with her maternal grandparents who moved away from the area and he did not get to see her so much, the hearing was told.

Manchester Arena incident
People attend a service at the Angel of the North in Gateshead in memory of Manchester bombing victims Philip Tron and Courtney Boyle (Owen Humphreys/PA)

A Newcastle United FC fan, he loved family life, celebrations and holidays with relatives, Mr Mullen said, and wanted to settle down with the right person, buy his own car and home and have a happy family life with more children around him.

Apart from working away, Mr Tron spent most of his life in Gateshead and as the tribute ended a photo montage was played in the hearing room.

It showed pictures of Mr Tron and images of hundreds of mourners attending his funeral, with crowds also at a memorial event at the Angel of the North statue.

Mr Mullen said his nephew would be missed by all who knew him but “Heaven has a new Geordie ambassador”.

The public inquiry, looking at the background and emergency response to the attack, is scheduled to run into next spring.

The hearing was adjourned until next week.

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