Biker tribute to Saffie sets off for Manchester

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Dozens of bikers gathered to pay tribute to the memory of Manchester bomb victim Saffie Roussos before setting off from Preston to Manchester.

Eight-year-old Saffie, from Leyland, loved bikes and was a frequent visitor to Preston’s Bowker Harley Davidson centre with her dad Andrew.

Bikers gather at Preston's Bowker Harley Davidson centre

Bikers gather at Preston's Bowker Harley Davidson centre

Today Saffie’s parents Andrew and Lisa, her brother Xander, 12, and sister Ashlee Bromwich took part in the memorial ride with dozens of bikers.

In an emotional speech before the convoy set off, Andrew Roussos paid tribte to his daughter. To tears and laughter from the assembled crowd, he said: “All Saffie wanted to be when she grew up was a biker with lots of tattoos.”

The family carried Saffie’s biker jacket with them, so she could join in the ride in spirit.

The convoy set off from Preston and visited Saffie’s home in Leyland before heading to Manchester.

Saffie Roussos' mum Lisa with Saffie's biker jacket

Saffie Roussos' mum Lisa with Saffie's biker jacket

Before setting off, Saffie’s mum posted an emotional tribute to her on Twitter.

Lisa Roussos, who was herself severely injured in the bombing, wrote: “One year ago today you were so excited for a day that meant the world to you. One year ago you got dressed and said goodbye to your friends. One year ago you went to your first ever concert, you saw your idol for the first time.

"One year ago. My words are short, today is a very emotional day not only for us but for everyone. I cannot believe it’s been a year since I last saw you. One year without hearing your beautiful voice, one year without your cuddles. One year without your laughter. One year without my baby girl Saffie Rose.

“We lost you one year ago today, May 22 and it has not and will not get any easier, like I thought it would.

Saffie's brother Xander, 12, rode pillion

Saffie's brother Xander, 12, rode pillion

"I miss you more and more every day. You were the most beautiful superstar I’ll ever know.

“I love you so much, you’re never not on my mind. I cannot let today pass without sending my love out into the universe, hoping it reaches you somehow. To my beautiful baby girl, I will and forever be yours.”

Coronation Street actor Chesney Brown joined the ride

Coronation Street actor Chesney Brown joined the ride