'A pocket rocket in skyscraper heels': One year since Sheffield lost Kelly Brewster

Kelly Brewster had just put a deposit down for a house before travelling to Manchester for the Ariana Grande gig in May last year.

Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 3:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 3:31 pm
Kelly Brewster with Ian and Phoebe

She was three years into a loving relationship with her soulmate Ian Winslow and her parents said she was the 'happiest she had ever been'.

But, instead of helping Kelly plan for her future, her parents have spent the last year adjusting to a life without her.

Kelly was one of 22 people tragically killed in a terror attack at Manchester Arena; leaving her family and friends heartbroken.

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Kelly and Ian

Tributes poured in for Kelly from across the globe following her death, including an emotional farewell from her partner Ian.

Now, one year on, Kelly's parents have opened up on their 'firecracker' daughter and her love of travelling, boy bands and family.

"One year on from losing Kelly and she’s still in our thoughts every single day. Everyone who knew her misses her so much," they said."She was the happiest she had ever been and had been making plans for her life, with her partner, her friends and her family. She was so excited and it had all been going to plan before 22 May 2017 when she was cruelly taken away from us. "At just under 5ft tall, Kelly might have been small but her personality, attitude and passion for life – and boy bands! – were anything but that.

"Her work colleagues at Aviva called her a pocket rocket in skyscraper heels and we couldn’t agree more. She was a total firecracker, really independent and opinionated. "She was so independent that she travelled alone around the world, joining organised groups back-packing in Australia and America.

Kelly and Ian

"She loved travelling and made some great friends along the way, many of who sent kind messages from across the world for her funeral."

Kelly met Ian at her 30th birthday party with her parents saying they were 'meant to be together'.

The couple had just put a deposit down on a new house and would leave each other 'little notes' around the house for when the other got home,

"She was so excited to continue her life with Ian and his daughter Phoebe, to start a family together and they had been trying for a baby which we were all so happy about," they said.

Kelly and Ian

Her passion for travelling was only matched by her love of music.

As well as Ariana Grande, Kelly had a penchant for East 17, One Direction, J-Lo, New Kids on the Block and even had a life-sized poster of Gareth Gates.

But, above all else, Kelly lived for her family.

She heroically shielded her 12-year-old niece Hollie from the full effects of the blast and her parents said she was a 'massive part' of her niece's lives.

"Kelly also tried to teach her niece’s Demi and Hollie the lyrics to her favourite songs and we have videos of them singing to New Kids on the Block with her.

"She was such a massive part of their lives, they adored her and just wanted to be around her all the time. "On one occasion she rang Claire laughing her head off because Demi had put a bowl over Hollie’s head and cut her hair – she just had two spiky bits sticking up!

"Claire was absolutely mortified but Kelly thought it was hilarious.

"Although Kelly is no longer with them, they’ve both got pictures up in their rooms and the teddy bears given to them by medical staff after the attack are called Kelly Bears – they go everywhere with them."