How Alan Henning's hometown paid tribute to him

Dina Rickman@dinarickman
Saturday 04 October 2014 15:00
news

Friends and neighbours of Alan Henning, the taxi driver turned aid worker who is thought to have been murdered by Isis militants, have tied yellow ribbons around his home town in a show of solidarity.

When Henning's capture was first made public the ribbons in Eccles, greater Manchester, read “free Alan”. This morning they read “RIP”.

Those who knew Henning, 47, have paid tribute to his bravery, while his family said they were "numb with grief" in a statement released on Saturday. Henning's wife, Barbara and children Lucy and Adam, said they were "devastated" by his death.

On behalf of the entire family, I want to thank everyone who campaigned for Alan’s release, who held vigils to pray for his safe return, and who condemned those who took him,

Your efforts were a great support to us, and we take comfort in knowing how many people stood beside us in hoping for the best. Alan was a decent, caring human being. His interest was in the welfare of others. He will be remembered for this and we as a family are extremely proud of him and what he achieved and the people he helped. We now need time to come to terms with our loss.

His nephew Stuart tweeted: “RIP uncle Alan you are and will always be my hero love you.”

Orlando Napolitano, who runs a cafe frequented by Mr Henning when he worked as a taxi driver said he last saw Alan just before he left for Syria.

I asked him 'why are you doing that?' and he said 'because I want to. It will make me happy'. I broke down when I heard the news this morning. I really thought he was coming home. He was a special man.

And Mike Hyde, a former cab driver who worked with Mr Henning told the BBC:

I am just heartbroken - I can't speak, really. He was just doing his best, you know? He was just a nice ordinary man, making a living like all of us. I've never heard him say a bad word about anybody."

More: Alan Henning: the taxi driver who just wanted to help Syrian children

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