Manchester Arena Inquiry: Kelly Brewster had 'zest for life'

Media caption,
Kelly Brewster was planning to have a family when she was killed in the Manchester Arena bomb

Kelly Brewster was a "fun-loving larger than life" character despite being "just 5ft" with an "infectious zest for life", her family told a public inquiry.

Over the next two weeks, the relatives of the 22 people killed in the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing will provide a personal insight into the lives of their loved ones and how their lives were changed forever.

The tribute opened with a slideshow of dozens of photographs of Kelly accompanied by the poignant Missing You soundtrack by Brandy, Tamia, Gladys Knight and Chaka Khan before family - including her parents Kevin and Kim Brewster - who were present as was her partner Ian Winslow, her sister Claire Booth and niece - and friends honoured her.

The 32-year-old from Sheffield was "a fun-loving, kind, thoughtful person but everyone knew she had to be taken seriously when she put her sky-scraper heels on", the family said.

They said she had a passion for travel, music, travelling all over the world to go to concerts despite falling asleep at her first one - the New Kids on the Block - and dancing, saying she was "always on the dance floor".

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Ian Winslow and Kelly Brewster were "soulmates", her family said

The family said she was trying for a baby with her "soulmate" Ian and had been "so excited" going to the Ariana Grande concert because they had had an offer accepted on a new four-bedroom home on the morning of the bombing.

They said she had already planned which room was going to be Ian's daughter Phoebe's bedroom and which would be the nursery.

"Kelly was the happiest she had ever been," the inquiry heard.

The family said Kelly hit it off with Ian at her 30th birthday party and they were "made for each other", adding she and Phoebe were like "best mates".

Her nieces, who loved having sleepovers with Kelly, cherish "Kelly Bears" given to them by bereavement nurses, the family said.

One of her friends Jen, who Kelly met when she was travelling in Australia, said she "loved life more than anyone she had ever met", adding "her zest for life and happiness was infectious".

She added: "You couldn't be around her and not have a smile on your face."

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Kelly Brewster had a "zest for life and happiness"

Aviva, where she worked for eight years as an insurance claims assessor manager, described her as "their very own pocket rocket" and said she would be greatly missed.

The inquiry heard Kelly's mother Kim was "truly heartbroken" and Kevin was "devastated", suffering a stroke and heart attack since her death.

"We have been robbed of Kelly's future in the cruellest, most barbaric way," her family said.

"We will never see Kelly become a mother or watch her get married."

The family said her father regularly travels to Manchester to sit in Victoria Station because that is where he feels "closest" to Kelly.

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