Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Soldier's family in tearful tribute

Lee Rigby's mother and stepfather Lyn and Ian Rigby sit alongside his wife Rebecca at a press conference
Family members of Lee Rigby speak at a press conference at the Regimental HQ of his unit, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in Bury
Rebecca Rigby, the wife of murdered soldier Lee Rigby, wipes her eyes during a family press conference in Bury, Greater Manchester

The tearful family of murdered soldier Lee Rigby have said "our hearts have been ripped apart".

His wife Rebecca, 30, mother of his son Jack, aged two, and stepfather Ian Rigby, 54, fought back tears as they spoke on behalf of the 25-year-old's whole family at a press conference at the Regimental HQ of his unit, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in Bury, Greater Manchester.

The soldier's mother Lyn Rigby, 46, sat red-eyed, unable to speak through tears, clutching a teddy her son had bought his child.

Sobbing, Rebecca Rigby said: "I love Lee and always will. I am proud to be his wife and he was due to come up this weekend so we could continue our future together as a family. He was a devoted father to our son Jack and we will both miss him terribly."

Asked about the shock of the attack being on British soil, she added: "You don't expect it to happen when he's in the UK. You think they're safe. His proudest moments were serving in London on the ceremonials with the drum corps."

Drummer Rigby, from Langley, in Middleton, Greater Manchester, was from 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, had served in Afghanistan and was attached to the regimental recruiting team when he was hacked to death in broad daylight on Wednesday afternoon in Woolwich, south east London.

Two suspects were shot and arrested at the scene and remain in police custody.

Drummer Rigby's stepfather Ian read out a statement on behalf of and prepared by the whole family: "What can we say about Lee, our hero, we are so so proud of Lee. When Lee was born the family adored him, he was a precious gift given to us.

"Lee had a fiery temper when he was younger. I used to sit on him to calm him down till he got too big at 15, then he used to sit on me. Lee's dream growing up was always to join the army, which he succeeded in doing. He was dedicated and loved his job.

"Lee adored and cared a lot for his family, he was very much a family man, looking out for his wife, young son Jack, younger sisters, whom in turn they looked up to him. He always had a banter with them but would never ever let any harm come to them. He was over the moon being a dad and uncle, he adored them all."

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