Lights' boss' gift to arena bomb victim

An extra special star will shine this Christmas in memory of a tragic youngster killed in the Manchester Arena bombing.

Thursday, 14th September 2017, 11:20 am
Updated Thursday, 14th September 2017, 11:25 am
Saffie Roussos

Saffie Roussos was the youngest victim of the terrorist attack in May.

The pink star is being designed by lighting supremo Richard Ryan – head of the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations.

It will sit on a real tree in Saffie’s hometown Leyland as a touching tribute to the eight-year-old, one of 22 people killed as they left an Ariana Grande concert.

Richard Ryan

Preparations are under way for this year’s Leyland Christmas Festival when crowds flock to the town centre for the traditional lights switch-on in November.

Organisers, the Leyland Town Team, have revealed plans for the star to be placed in the tree outside The Plaice fish and chip shop, Hough Lane, run by Saffie’s family.

Mr Ryan has worked with the town team on its Christmas lights in the past.

Mr Ryan said: “We’ve done Leyland lights for a number of years with them, and the big roundabout there, that’s one of my designs.

Richard Ryan

“When I was told about this, I thought it was something we’d want to help with.

“We’re doing a commemorative star and that’s been discussed and agreed for some time.” Mr Ryan said the star was in Saffie’s favourite colours - pink and twinkly. He said it was made of aluminium with a variety of coloured LED lighting.

“It’s going to be very clear and bright to see and it will illuminate and twinkle,” he said.

Mr Ryan said he was given a brief for the design following conversations with Saffie’s parents.

He said: “I’m very proud to be doing it on behalf of everyone involved.”

Saffie’s parents have reluctantly decided to sell the shop, but hope whoever buys it will rename it Saffie’s Plaice.