Coronation Street fans break down in tears as soap pays tribute to Manchester bombing victims

CORONATION Street paid an emotional tribute on Friday night to the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing ahead of the fifth anniversary of the tragedy.

Soap veterans Gail Platt and Eileen Grimshaw, played by actors Helen Worth and Sue Cleaver, were seen placing flowers at a memorial bench in a community garden.

The garden was built at the ITV studio in honour of the victims, including Corrie superfan Martyn Hett, in 2018.

A plaque also in the garden reads: "For Martyn and all those who lost their lives on the 22nd of May 2017. We stand together."

Gail and Eileen, who have clashed over the years on the ITV soap, came together to mark the anniversary.

"It's a lovely bench, isn't it?," Gail said in the moving scene.

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Eileen replied: "It is, it's just a crying shame it even has to be here.

"Five years on Sunday," Gail commented. "I know," Eileen replied back.

Gail said: "Could have been any one of us, couldn't it, any one of us from this street."

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"Our kids, grandkids," Eileen agreed.

On 22nd May 2017, ISIS-inspired terrorist Salman Abedi, 22, set off a shrapnel-packed homemade bomb hidden in a rucksack as he waited in the foyer of the Manchester Arena, at the end of an Ariana Grande concert.

The suicide bomb killed Abedi and 22 innocent men, women and children – the youngest being eight year-old Saffie-Rose Roussos, of Leyland, Lancs – and injured hundreds more.

Less than 24 hours later thousands gathered for a show of defiant solidarity in Albert Square.

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Martyn, a keen YouTuber and ­Coronation Street superfan, with a flourishing career in PR, had a vivacious love of life and once appeared on Channel 4’s Come Dine With Me.

He had been in high spirits before the concert, which was supposed to be his farewell night out before he set off to travel the world.

Martyn was killed by sixteen pieces of shrapnel that were later found in his body.

As well as those killed, more than 800 people, many of them children, were injured. 

After Martyn’s death, his many friends and fans got a hashtag on Twitter trending #BeMoreMartyn.

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