Who Was Martyn Hett? The Manchester Victim Was Beloved

by Alana Romain

After Monday's bombing at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, concerned friends and loved ones took to social media in a desperate attempt to locate those who were still missing, including 29-year-old Manchester man Martyn Hett, who had attended the Ariana Grande concert that evening. Sadly, his family learned Tuesday that he'd been one of the 22 people killed in the attack, making him the 10th victim to be publicly named, according to The Guardian. Who was Martyn Hett? The PR manager was described by his loved ones as "hilarious," "beautiful," and "iconic," and in a heartbroken tweet Wednesday morning, Hett's boyfriend, Russell Hayward, wrote that Hett "left the world exactly how he lived, centre of attention."

The loss has been no doubt devastating to those who knew him in real life, but thanks to Hett's online popularity, it was also a shock for those who followed him on social media. According to The Independent, Hett had made a name for himself in recent years, after making appearances on British reality shows like Come Dine With Me (in which he won the show's £1,000 prize in 2014), and Tattoo Fixers. He'd also become known as a "superfan" of British soap opera Coronation Street — so much so, in fact, that he actually got a tattoo of Coronation Street character Deirdre Barlow's face on his calf during his Tattoo Fixers episode.

That wasn't the only time Hett had managed to capture the public's heart, though. While those outside of the United Kingdom may not have seen Hett's TV appearances, he became a viral sensation online late in 2016 after tweeting about his mom, Figen Murray, who had been participating in a local craft fair. Hett shared a photo of his mother's craft stall, and shared his sadness over the fact that she hadn't yet sold anything.

Hett's friends and followers quickly came to the rescue though, and started purchasing the handmade items via her online store. But the best part was that Hett continued to publish updates — including his mother's overjoyed text message reactions — and the unexpected success of the craft fair suddenly became one of the sweetest stories on Twitter.

Hett spoke to BuzzFeed about the online reaction, and explained that following his mother's burst of surprising viral fame, she'd opted to donate a portion of her proceeds to charity (her online store continues to be sold out). Hett also said how happy he was that Murray had been able to receive such encouraging feedback, as he felt "the craft fair had knocked her confidence a bit," and posted an adorable follow-up tweet showing his mom holding a book about Twitter, adorably noting that she had "bought this book to help her cope with her new followers/fanbase on twitter."

Following the heartbreaking news of his death, tweets and tributes came pouring in for Hett:

Monday night's concert was reportedly serving double-duty as a going-away celebration for the young Manchester man: his stepmother, Kathryn Hett, told The Sun that he was set to leave Tuesday for a two-month "holiday of a lifetime" in the United States.

Hett's final tweet was posted to his account during the Ariana Grande concert Monday night, when he joked about trying to sneak out to go to the bathroom. Speaking to The Sun prior to the confirmation of Hett's death, his friend Stuart Aspinall said that he'd last seen Hett at the venue's bar "about 20 minutes before the end of the concert," and when Aspinall was leaving "the explosion happened and everyone started running."

Martyn Hett is the latest victim to be identified following the Manchester bombing. According to The Guardian, Manchester Police announced early Wednesday that three men have been arrested in south Manchester in connection with the attack.