The victim of the terrorist murder in Woolwich was named today as father-of-one Lee Rigby.
Drummer Rigby, 25, from Crumpsall, Manchester was from 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, attached to the Regimental Recruiting Team in London.
Sergeant Barry Ward said he was “a loving father” to his two-year-old son Jack, and had “a very bubbly character”.
A shocked and tearful neighbour outside the family home, a council house on the Langley estate in Middleton, Greater Manchester said: “He had always wanted to be in the army since he was knee high.”
The woman, who did not want to be named, added: “He was a lovely lad, he lived around here for years and went to Middleton Tech.”
A steady stream of relatives and friends visited the house throughout the day to support the family.
Police and PCSOs also stood guard outside the house and patrolled the street.
Drummer Rigby, who joined the Army in 2006, had served in Helmand province, Afghanistan, where he was a member of the Fire Support Group in Patrol Base Woqab.
A life-long Manchester United fan, he had also stood outside the Royal Palaces as part of his battalion’s public duties commitment.
Lieutenant Colonel Jim Taylor, Commanding Officer Second Fusiliers, said Drummer Rigby was a “real character”.
He said: “Larger than life, he was at the heart of our Corps of Drums.
“An experienced and talented side drummer and machine gunner, he was a true warrior and served with distinction in Afghanistan, Germany and Cyprus.
“His ability, talent and personality made him a natural choice to work in the recruiting group. He will be sorely missed by everyone in the Second Fusiliers.”