Royton’s Manchester Arena victims Lisa and Alison are remembered

A SPONSORED bike ride that raised more than £400 was among events that took place on May 22 to mark the third anniversary of the Manchester Arena bomb. Royton mums Lisa Lees and Alison Howes were among 22 people killed in the terror attack perpetrated by Salman Abedi.

The pair had arrived at the Arena moments earlier to collect their daughters after a sell-out concert by American singer Ariana Grande.

Abedi was also killed in the attack while his brother was jailed earlier this year after being found guilty of 22 counts of murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to cause an explosion likely to endanger life.

To raise money for the Lees family, Daniel Butler cycled 22 miles round Oldham, including Shaw, Crompton, Thornham and Royton.

After completing his ride Daniel posted on a JustGiving page: “Just got back from my sponsored 22-mile bike ride – 2hrs 40min.

“The wind slowed me down massively but didn’t stop me. Thanks a lot to all who donated. Much appreciated! X.”

A permanent memorial to the 22 victims will be a garden space, Manchester City Council has confirmed.

Proposals involve a stone ‘halo’ centrepiece bearing the names of the victims, after input from families.

Council leader Sir Richard Leese said the garden would be a “tranquil space” used all year round.

Oldham West and Royton MP Jim McMahon said of the Arena anniversary: “22nd of May is a difficult day for many of us here in Greater Manchester. 22 innocent lives were taken from us far too soon.

“My thoughts are with the family and friends of those 22, all those who were injured, and the countless others who were deeply affected by the attack.

“Our thanks must always go to the police, fire and ambulance services who were first on the scene.
“In particular, I’m thinking of Alison Howe and Lisa Lees, two mums from Royton who didn’t return home that night.

“We must remember the amazing way in which our city came together in the weeks and months after that tragic attack.

“Whenever I see a Worker Bee sticker on a car I’ll remember the spirit that got us through those difficult days.”

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