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24 May 2013, 13:31 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
The family of murdered Manchester soldier Lee Rigby, described him as a devoted father today.
His wife Rebecca and stepfather Ian Rigby fought back tears as they spoke on behalf of the tragic 25 year old's whole family, at a press conference in Bury in Greater Manchester.
Rebecca Rigby, mum of their two-year-old son Jack, said: "I love Lee and always will. I am proud to be his wife and he was due to come up this weekend so we could continue our future together as a family.''
Drummer Rigby, from Langley, in Middleton, Greater Manchester, was from 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, when he was hacked to death in broad daylight on Wednesday afternoon in Woolwich, south-east London.
Two suspects were shot and arrested at the scene and remain in police custody.
Mrs Rigby, sobbing back tears, added: “He was a devoted father to our son Jack and we will both miss him terribly.''
Asked about the shock of the attack being on British soil, she added: “You don't expect it to happen when he's in the UK. You think they're safe.
Lee's stepfather Ian read out a statement on behalf of and prepared by the whole family: “What can we say about Lee, our hero, we are so so proud of Lee.
“When Lee was born the family adored him, he was a precious gift given to us.
“Lee's dream growing up was always to join the army which he succeeded in doing, he was dedicated and loved his job.”
“Lee adored and cared a lot for his family, he was very much a family man, looking out for his wife, young son Jack, younger sisters, whom in turn they looked up to him, he always had a banter with them but would never ever let any harm come to them.
Mr Rigby, 54, continued: “Lee was a man who loved people. He had many friends growing up in Middleton and on army duties all over the world.
“The last text he sent to his mum read, 'Goodnight mum, I hope you had a fantastic day today because you are the most fantastic and one in a million mum that anyone could ever wish for. Thank you for supporting me all these years, you're not just my mum you're my best friend. So goodnight, love you loads.''