‘In my dreams, she’s still here’: Manchester terror attack victim’s devastated dad speaks out about teenage daughter’s death
A devastated dad whose daughter was killed in the Manchester Arena terror attack says he is still struggling to come to terms with her death.
Courtney Boyle was one of 22 people who died when an explosive device blew up as fans left the Ariana Grande concert in May.
The 19-year-old student, from Gateshead, was attending the concert with her mum’s partner Philip Tron, 32, who also died in the attack .
Her heartbroken father, Robert, has spoken out about his pain as he tries to rebuild his life after Courtney’s death, Chronicle Live reports .
He said he “knew straightaway” she was gone when Courtney’s aunt phoned him to tell him she was missing after the explosion.
“She was a little adventurer. She had her heart set on going into criminology and that’s what she went down to Leeds to do at university,” he said.
“I was so proud of her. She was a typical teenager, she loved her music and she loved animals. But music was her biggest passion and she used to love going to music festivals.
“Courtney loved horror movies and we’d watch them together and when she was a little girl I’d sing The Lighthouse Family – Lost in Space to her. I have all the memories in my head and I’ll never lose them.
“I dream about her all of the time then wake up with my heart racing. I wake up crying, it’s horrible. The dreams are so real, I don’t want to wake up because in my dreams she’s still here.”
Wagon driver Robert, 44, was woken by a friend on the night of the bombing.
Recalling the night his world was turned upside down, he said: “I was in bed when a pal from work rang me and asked, ‘have you heard what’s happened in Manchester? A bomb has gone off and your Courtney is there’. I couldn’t believe it. He said, ‘I think she is OK but I’m not sure’.
“I then got a call from my former partner’s sister to tell me Courtney was missing. I knew straight away. I had a massive feeling she was gone. If she was alive, she wouldn’t have gone missing.
“I was absolutely devastated. I could not believe my beautiful little bairn was gone. You never think it will happen to someone you know, never mind to yourself.”
Courtney studied criminology at Leeds Beckett University and two months after her death on May 22 she was honoured with a posthumous award from the university.
The “bright, hard-working and gifted” student was laid to rest at Saltwell Crematorium in June.
In the aftermath of the attack, Robert went to Manchester and was touched by the outpouring of grief in the city.
Mourners travelled from around the world to pay their respects at St Ann’s Square, where a sea of flowers, teddy bears, balloons and pictures were left in a defiant tribute to the dead.
Robert said: “I was down in Manchester and to see the support was absolutely brilliant.
“There were grown men, all muscles and tattoos, with tears in their eyes. Everyone was coming together.
“I was in a hotel but I didn’t want to just sit in the room. I was walking around in a daze.
“I went and laid some flowers alongside a picture of me and Courtney.
“And in Wrekenton, the support has been brilliant from my family and friends. It’s helped me a lot.”
And Robert spoke of his disgust for the cowardly terrorist who took the lives of 22 innocent people, including South Shields teenage sweethearts Chloe Rutherford, 17, and Liam Curry, 19.
He said: “I cannot understand why they do it.
“I can’t remember his name and I don’t want to know it. I do not want to see his face.
“When it happened, everywhere I looked I was seeing his face, but it shouldn’t be him everywhere, it should be the victims’ faces.”
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