The mother of Wendy Fawell, who was murdered in the Manchester Arena attack, told of the family's 'double heartache' as Wendy's father died less than a year after the atrocity.

The public inquiry into the bombing heard today he 'never got over her death when he passed away 11 months later'.

Mother-of-two Wendy was 50 and from Otley, West Yorkshire.

Her family paid touching tribute to 'the life and soul of the party'.

Wendy, the inquiry heard, loved children - and children loved her.

She worked at a play group and at a pre-school nursery, and was also a dinner lady.

The public inquiry into the atrocity on May 22, 2017, which claimed 22 lives, entered its ninth day on Tuesday. 

The attack claimed 22 lives

Pen portraits from the families and friends of the deceased, and moving personal evidence about them, are continuing to be heard and shown to the inquiry.

In the tribute, Wendy's family said she was born in Leeds in 1966.

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She worked in a wool factory in Guiseley, then a butcher's shop then at a play group.

"She loved her job, she loved children and she was fun to be around," her family said in the statement, which was read out on their behalf.

It was compiled by her son Adam and daughter Charlotte.

"Children warmed to her and enjoyed spending time with her," they said in the statement.

The public inquiry was entering its ninth day today

"Her death left all the children she cared for bewildered.

"Wendy has always been a fun person, the life and soul of the party.

"She loved socialising and she loved her role of being a mum.

"She tried to mother everyone. She was a nice and caring person that way. She loved people around her and was a brilliant cook.

"She loved being outside. She was a true sun worshipper. If the sun was out, then mum was out.

"She had so much to live for and she gave so much of herself.

"How can anyone put into words the devastation of losing a loving daughter, mother and friend in such tragic, insane circumstances?

"The loss is indescribable. We have never felt such grief.

"Her father never got over her death when he passed away 11 months later.

Tributes in Manchester after the attack

"All of this has left us all totally heartbroken and our lives will never be the same."

Wendy's mother, Julia, recalled stories from her daughter's childhood.

"She was bright, and a fast learner," she said.

Julia recalled her playing hairdressers as a child and using a silver charm bracelet to play hopscotch with at school.

She spoke of seaside trips out with the family and the inquiry was told Wendy leaves a brother, Andrew.

The bombing in 2017 claimed 22 lives

Wendy was an 'Elvis fan to the end', Julia said, and had all his films.

"Working with toddlers was a dream for her," Julia said.

"She took to it like a duck to water.

"She loved children - and they loved her.

"She was a wonderful mother to Adam and Charlotte. They were always paramount in her thoughts and deeds.

"Wendy will be missed by so many people. The days after we lost her, my house was full of flowers and cards from many people who knew Wendy, but I didn't know.

"My memories of Wendy are countless. These are just some.

"The day I lost her, a part of me died with her too.

"I put on my make-up, braved a smile and faced the world, but it's a different world now without Wendy.

"It was double heartache for me when 11 months later, I lost Michael, Wendy's father.

"I like to think he is with her now doing what he always did - looking after her."

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated a rucksack bomb after an Ariana Grande concert held at the Arena.

The attack left many more people injured as well as the 22 lives lost.

Hashem Abedi, his brother, is currently serving a 55-year minimum sentence after being convicted over the atrocity.

The public inquiry - set to run until next spring - is examining all aspects of the bombing.