The public have raised over £20,000 in aid of a homeless man who helped save the lives of children in Monday’s terror attack in Manchester.
Stephen Jones rushed to the rescue on Monday, 22 people killed and 59 injured when a lone bomber struck the foyer of Manchester Arena, just as thousands were leaving Ariana Grande’s show. Many of the victims were children and teenagers – with the youngest of the dead revealed to be just eight-years-old.
He had been sleeping rough near the venue when he heard the explosion, and felt compelled to help.
“I then realised what was happening and saw children coming out, screaming and covered in blood,” Jones, 35, told ITV news. “We were having to pull nails and bits of glass out of their arms and faces.”
Describing his mindset after the atrocity, Jones added: “We haven’t slept most of the night because of what we’ve seen.”
Then, a JustGiving page was set up to help raise £25,000 for ‘Steve The Hero’. At the time of publishing, the campaign was less than £2,o00 off target. It set off with the aim to find him somewhere to say, but now they claim they can find him somewhere permanent to live live.
After being moved by his story, West Ham United’s Joint-Chairman David Sullivan and his eldest son Dave sought people’s help on social media to find Steve and even had the help of ITV.
“Dave and myself were both hugely impressed by the bravery shown by Steve, the emergency services and all those who rushed to the aid of those affected by the Manchester attack,” said David on West Ham’s website.
“This was a terrible incident, but the response of the people of Manchester has been one of bravery, togetherness and resilience – the hallmarks of what makes Britain such a fantastic place. Steve was just one of hundreds of people who forgot about their own safety and rushed to the aid of others, and we were both moved by his story.”
Following the attack, over half a million pound has been raised for the victims and their families.