Belfast Telegraph

Manchester bombing victim Martyn Hett honoured with Attitude Pride Award

His boyfriend said he would have been “touched” by the posthumous prize.

The partner of blogger Martyn Hett said his late boyfriend would have been “honoured and touched” to have been presented with a posthumous prize at the Attitude Pride Awards.

Russell Hayward joined Mr Hett’s mother and sisters at the central London event on Friday to accept the award, presented by Coronation Street star Helen Worth.

Paying tribute to his partner, who was a devoted Corrie fan, he told the Press Association: “It means a lot to do something for Martyn to keep his spirit alive.

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Martyn Hett (Manchester Police/PA)

“Every decision I make now, is for him and to make him proud. It’s so humbling to collect this award.

“He would be so honoured and touched, but also so all over it – he would be lapping it up. He would be flattered.”

Speaking about a tribute that will be made to Mr Hett at the Manchester Pride celebration next month, Mr Hayward said that his partner used to attend as many Pride events as possible across the country.

Wearing an M-shaped earring to the London event, he paid tribute to the 29-year-old who “built my self esteem” and gave him the confidence to wear a pair of shorts for the first time.

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The coffin of Martyn Hett leaves Stockport Town Hall Plaza following his funeral service (Peter Byrne/PA)

“He threw his arms around me the first time we met,” Mr Hayward said of Mr Hett, as he admitted to having a Ken Barlow tattoo on his ankle to match his partner’s inked tribute to late Corrie stalwart, Deirdre.

Picking up the award, Mr Hett’s mother Figen Murray told the packed room: “We are devastated that Martyn is no longer with us, but he was kindness and love and it’s important that we continue that.

“Nobody should be in a position where they should fight for things like freedom of sexuality.”

Mr Hett’s sister, Louise, added: “Martyn would be overwhelmed by this, thank you for recognising him just for being himself.”

Stars from Mr Hett’s favourite soap gathered for his funeral at Stockport Town Hall last week, including Worth, who plays Gail McIntyre in the ITV show.

She said: “That hall was full of at least 1,000 gorgeous young people who were all very pleased to tell me about Martyn, and I realised what an extraordinary person he was.

“When I was asked later on to present this award is was absolutely delighted.

“He was such a wonderful free spirit who lived his life as himself and I think he is a great lesson to young people.

“If you could have seen, felt, that love in the room for him, you would seem that he was followed and looked up to. He was a great guy.”

Sharing his own personal memories of Mr Hett and Worth’s unlikely bond, Mr Hayward added: “He met Gail before when I was with him on a train, and it was his social media profile picture for about a year.”

The Attitude Pride Awards presented 10 trophies to people who have faced serious prejudices in the fight to stand up for their sexuality.

It was hosted by TV star Gok Wan, who made a toast to Mr Hett.

It was also attended by Davina McCall, Nick Grimshaw and comedian Stephen K Amos.

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