The family of a Frodsham woman killed in last week's terror attack at Manchester Arena have released a series of pictures that they say capture her 'wonderful character and unique style'.
Cheshire Constabulary police officer Elaine McIver was one of the 22 victims who lost her life when suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated a homemade bomb after an Ariana Grande concert.
Ellesmere Port-born Elaine and her partner Paul had been waiting in the foyer to collect Paul’s 13-year-old daughter and her friend from the concert after spending the evening in Manchester.
He remains seriously injured in hospital.
In a statement from Elaine's family, they said that Paul was the ‘love of her life’, and the couple had been excitedly planning their future, including buying a house together and moving from Frodsham to Widnes.
“Elaine and Paul were big music fans and regularly attended the Manchester Arena and other venues for concerts. Music is one of the things that bonded them together so closely," they said.
“Elaine had been introduced to Paul through a friend at work and they quickly became inseparable. She absolutely adored him and he rapidly became the love of her life.
"They were making many plans for their future life together and seemed so incredibly well suited. Her family and friends could all see how amazingly happy Paul had made Elaine, to a new level not seen before.
“We were devastated to hear of the injuries that Paul has sustained and we will be supporting him and his family through this difficult time. He is a big part of our family too and always will be.”
After her birth in Ellesmere Port, Elaine emigrated to Melbourne, Australia when she was five years old, but the family returned to their home town three years later.
The statement continues: “Despite the short time they lived overseas the family have remained in close contact with many friends who have made contact to express their sympathy and devastation at the loss of Elaine.
“Elaine was one of a kind and had an impact on so many lives. She was a friend to so many and an amazing daughter, sister and aunt. Her love for all was immense and she was like the glue that held us all together.
“Our lives have been enriched by the time that we have had with her, but they will never now be the same again. We try to take comfort from how fortunate we have been to have had her in our lives, rather than think how much of a void there will be now that she has gone.
“Elaine loved to talk and could speak to complete strangers with ease, making everyone around her feel comfortable and relaxed. Her sense of humour was infectious and she had a speed of wit that was second to none.
"Elaine also had many funny phrases and sayings that we were all accustomed to hearing and can still imagine her saying.
“We all have so many wonderful memories and funny stories that we have been sharing since the tragic events of Monday. She would have wanted us all to continue to laugh, despite the tears in our eyes and pain in our hearts.”
Her family added: “Elaine was not afraid to share her thoughts and strong opinions and would often be the one to verbalise what others were feeling and thinking but were too reticent to say.
Those who know her will testify to this but know that this was part of her lovable character and was never offensive. The most indisputable fact about her though was that she cared and she loved. She had a huge heart, was thoughtful beyond belief and would do anything for anyone.
"Her kindness, love and ability to know what we were all thinking, feeling or needed was a true asset and made her unique and irreplaceable.”
Just three weeks before the attack Elaine had surprised her parents out of the blue by driving them to a Leo Sayer concert in Harrogate as a special treat, knowing her mum and dad were huge fans of the artist.
The statement ends: “Her sister revealed that when they returned, they were full of beans and were buzzing, happier than they had been in a long time.
"This was typical of the kind and thoughtful acts that Elaine would do for all her friends and family. Little did we know at the time that this would be the last outing that they would all have had together as a family.
“She was the life and soul of the party, yet she did so whilst simultaneously making everyone else feel special and involved. We would like to share some further photos with you that show her wonderful character and unique style.
“Our love for her is indescribable and the loss incomprehensible but she will always be with us and she will live on through the influence that she has had on us all and on all around her.”
Her sister, Lynda, also paid an emotional tribute on Facebook and thanked people for their support urging them to “keep smiling through the tears and stay strong”.