The extraordinarily brave and dignified family of Martyn Hett will say goodbye to their son today, but they’re going to make damn sure he leaves as he lived: like a diva.
Martyn, 29, was one of 22 innocent people who lost their lives in the Manchester Arena terror attack. His funeral will be held in his hometown of Stockport, with invites extended to anyone who wants to celebrate his brilliantly colourful life.
A Coronation Street superfan (to put it lightly), he became internet-famous for the massive Deirdre Barlow tattoo that sat pride of place on his leg, but viral stardom runs in the family. Last year Martyn advertised his mum’s knitting and craft site on his Twitter page, and almost instantly orders were coming in from all over the country.
Ahead of the service, Martyn’s mum and stepfather told Sky News about a conversation they’d had with him about his funeral plans. Heartbreakingly, that day has arrived far too soon, but they recalled him saying that while he wanted everyone dressed in black, they’d need to have something extra – something ‘fabulous’. A ‘very interesting coffin’ was also promised.
Mum Figen Murray said in the interview that she’s chosen to forgive suicide bomber Salman Abedi for what he did. “The guy was a young man who was brainwashed, who was radicalised from an early age,” she explained. “He did what he thought was the right thing in his crazy mind.”
As well as capturing the hearts of a nation, Marytn made an impression on some of his biggest idols. One of them, Mariah Carey, paid tribute to him on Twitter, and pop star Michelle McManus will perform at the funeral. As reported in the Manchester Evening News, he spent over 24 hours on a Megabus to see the Scottish Pop Idol winner perform in Stirling earlier this year. The singer has since sold out a show in Sale, Trafford, and said it was largely down to big-hearted Martyn.
Today will of course be desperately sad for everyone who knew Martyn Hett, but first and foremost it’s going to be a celebration of a man we can all learn a thing or two from.
Be more Martyn.