'They wanted to be together forever, and now they are' - families of teenage sweethearts Chloe and Liam speak
A TEENAGE couple killed in the Manchester Arena bombing "wanted to be together forever and now they are", their families have said.
Chloe Rutherford, 17, and Liam Curry, 19, from South Shields, were "inseparable" and "beautiful inside and out", their grieving relatives said as they became the latest youngsters known to have died in the atrocity.
The teenage sweethearts were among 22 people killed, including an eight-year-old girl, when suicide bomber Salman Abedi blew himself up after a pop concert on Monday night.
In a joint statement released through Greater Manchester Police their relatives said: "On the night our daughter Chloe died and our son Liam died, their wings were ready but our hearts were not.
"They were perfect in every way for each other and were meant to be.
"They were beautiful inside and out to ourselves and our families, and they were inseparable.
"Chloe always described herself as ditzy who Liam adored and would do anything for, including dealing with Chloe's demands for chocolate.
"They lived to go to new places together and explore different cities. They wanted to be together forever and now they are."
Mr Curry, a former pupil of Gateshead College, was studying for a degree in sport and exercise science at Northumbria University.
His father, Andrew Curry, died aged 49 in March after a long illness.
An obituary posted in the Shields Gazette said: "My dad was my hero. I don't know how we can go on without him! I will be strong though and look after them as you asked me to Dad."
Mr Curry's cricket club paid tribute to the player who had been with them since he was a little boy.
Marsden Cricket Club's Facebook page said: "Liam has been part of the club from the age of just six and we have all seen him develop into an incredibly strong and mature young man, supporting his family through the loss of his father Andy earlier this year.
"He was developing into a fine cricketer and coach and was undoubtedly going to be part of our first team for many years to come."
His girlfriend had also supported him and his family after his father died, the South Shields-based club said.
"Chloe, like Liam, was an incredibly strong person, supporting Caroline, Zack and of course Liam through the loss of Andrew.
"Quiet but not shy, she was a pleasure to be with around the club and I am sure she would have become a close friend to all in the years to come."
Mr Curry had raised funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation after family members were struck down by cancer, a spokeswoman said.
She said: "Liam was an outstanding young man and a great credit to his family.
"At 14, he began fundraising for us after his granddad, Jack Allen, was diagnosed with cancer and he proudly completed a Coast to Coast cycle ride.
"Cruelly, his dad, Andrew Curry, was also diagnosed with cancer and died in March this year.
"Liam continued fundraising during his dad's illness and undertook a 260 mile sponsored cycle ride from Calais to Paris and a Great North Run to help raise funds for us.
"No words can adequately convey feelings at a time like this.
"Our thoughts are with Liam's loved ones and all the victims' families and friends."