Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now

The homeless men who rushed to help the Manchester Arena victims

“Just because I’m homeless, it doesn’t mean I haven’t got a heart,” Stephen Jones said.

Stephen Jones was on the scene.
Stephen Jones was on the scene.
Image: ITV News

TWO HOMELESS MEN begging at the Manchester Arena as the suicide attack went off have been praised after helping the victims in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

Chris Parker, 33, had been begging in the arena foyer where suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated his device late last night, killing 22 people.

Amid the chaos as people began to leave the concert by US pop star Ariane Grande, who has a large teenage girl following, he rushed to help victims.

Stephen Jones, 35, who had been sleeping rough near the arena in the northwest English city, also ran to help deal with the gruesome aftermath.

Jones, a former bricklayer who has been sleeping rough for more than a year, recalled wiping blood from children’s eyes after dashing to help.

“It was a lot of children with blood all over them, crying and screaming,” he told ITV.

We were having to pull nails out of their arms and a couple out of this little girl’s face.

Jones said it was “just instinct” to help.

“If I didn’t help I wouldn’t be able to live with myself walking away and leaving kids like that,” he said.

“Just because I’m homeless, it doesn’t mean I haven’t got a heart,” he said.

There’s a lot of good people with Manchester who help us out and we need to give back too.

‘I haven’t stopped crying’

Parker has slept rough in Manchester for about a year, and regularly goes to the arena to beg for change as crowds head home from the 21,000-capacity venue.

He said he tended to a woman who died as he tried to comfort her.

“She passed away in my arms,” Parker said. ”I haven’t stopped crying.

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

“The most shocking part of it is that it was a kids’ concert.”

Crowdfunding webpages set up for Parker and Jones have raised more than €11,600.

The page for Parker was set up by Michael Johns, who said he felt compelled to help “one of our most vulnerable in society who showed great selflessness and courage”.

Johns said he was not yet in touch with Parker but was trying to track him down through journalists who spoke to him.

- © AFP, 2017

Read: UK threat level raised ‘indicating a further attack is expected imminently’

Read: 8 and 18-year-old girls the first named victims of Manchester attack

About the author:


Read next: