A "LASTING" memorial has been unveiled to a Radcliffe man who was killed in the Manchester Arena bombing.

Friends and family gathered in the piazza to remember John Atkinson — a man who was "larger than life" and "loved by so many.”

His mother Daryl Price and step-father Kevan Price have played a major part in developing the designs for a permanent tribute, which has now been installed at the heart of his home town.

The memorial bears the inscription "In loving memory of John Atkinson".

A photograph of the 28-year-old, along with musical notes from his favourite song, are also engraved on the monument.

At the top of the 1.5-metre-high sculpture is a rock, with the Manchester bee carved into it. The worker bee became a symbol of solidarity and unity across the city in the aftermath of the terrorist attack in May 2017.

John attended St John’s Church of England Primary School and Radcliffe High School, and was a support worker for children and young adults with additional needs — a job which he loved.

Radcliffe councillor Sharon Briggs, cabinet member for communities, said: “We will never forget those who died in the bombing, and I hope this memorial gives John’s family some comfort and serves to celebrate his life.”

The initial idea for the memorial was that of former Bury Council leader and Radcliffe West councillor Rishi Shori, with a planning application submitted in March last year.

Specialist designer and stonemason, Edenfield-based Angels in Stone, were chosen to develop the family’s ideas for the permanent memorial, following consultations with council officers.

Mr Price previously told the Radcliffe Times: “The inclusion of the Manchester bee is to reflect how Manchester pulled together in the days, weeks and months following the attack.

“This is for people in years to come. It is for my grandsons to be able to say ‘that is the memorial they made for my uncle John’.

“For what happened in Manchester, I want them to be able to remember him.

“This is for everyone who knew John.

“It is so that no one forgets about John or about what happened.”

Mr Atkinson was a loving brother to three sisters and uncle to seven nephews. He was the loving partner of Michael.