Monday 19 February 2018

Manchester attack teenager's heartbroken family: 'Don't hate in Olivia's name'

Olivia Campbell
Olivia Campbell

David Wilcock

The family of a teenage victim of the Manchester terror attack have urged people to choose love over hate in her memory.

Olivia Campbell-Hardy (15) was at the Ariana Grande gig with her friend Adam when Salman Abedi struck on May 22.

The schoolgirl, from Bury, Greater Manchester, had previously auditioned for Britain's Got Talent and her relatives said they planned to set up a performing arts trust in her name.

In a statement from her father Andrew and the family, released through Greater Manchester Police, her "large, close family" said she had been "much loved", adding: "Our memories are of happy times, of fun at family gatherings.

Women light candles following a vigil in central Manchester. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Women light candles following a vigil in central Manchester. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

"The ones suffering most are the young people in our family. Their world has changed forever. Suddenly it is not so full of joy and possibility.

"With our love and care they will heal, so please don't hate in Olivia's name, we choose to love."

Read More: Ariana Grande flies in for Manchester benefit concert

In a second statement, Olivia's mother Charlotte and stepfather Paul Hodgson lovingly called her a cheeky "gobby cow".

They wrote: "She was so lovely but could be an absolute nightmare in equal measure but everything she did we loved.

"She got away with everything because she was the youngest.

A woman hands out flowers during a vigil in Albert Square in Manchester, last night. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
A woman hands out flowers during a vigil in Albert Square in Manchester, last night. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

"She was a gobby cow - she was so cheeky, but you just couldn't tell her off, it was impossible. You'd just end up laughing."

They also spoke of her boyfriend Lewis, who "worshipped the ground she walked on", adding: "We will miss Ollie every day. But this house will always be full of laughter because of the 15 years of memories she gave us."

Read More: Mum of youngest blast victim Saffie off life support

Olivia, who went to Tottington High School, was among the first victims to be named.

Her family spent the day after the attack frantically searching for her, but in the early hours of Wednesday Charlotte Campbell revealed her daughter had died in the blast.

US singer John Legend had previously paid tribute to the 15-year-old, saying he was "moved" by footage of the teenager singing one of his songs.

She sang All Of Me when she tried out for BGT.

Press Association

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