LONDON — A young Manchester man who made headlines in December as the “son of the year” when he helped save his mother’s knitting business is being mourned by thousands on social media, including singer Mariah Carey, after he was identified as one of 22 people killed in Monday night’s terror attack in Manchester.
The brother of Martyn Hett, 29, confirmed his death on Twitter.
“They found my brother last night. We are heartbroken,” Hett’s brother Dan said in a tweet on Wednesday.
The news of Hett’s death triggered an outpouring of support on social media, where he had been very active.
A huge Mariah Carey fan, Hett was honored by the pop star herself in a post on Instagram.
Hett’s international attention last year began after a social media campaign to save his mother’s knitting career went viral.
Dubbed the “son of the year” by Buzzfeed and the Today Show, Hett took to Twitter after his mother told him she was struggling to make any sales at a Christmas craft fair.
“My mum has set up her own stall at a craft fair and has messaged me to say she hasn’t sold anything yet and my heart is breaking,” Hett tweeted on November 26, sharing a photo of his mother’s stall of holiday-themed heart ornaments and teddy bears.
Hett later told the Metro newspaper that his mum, Figen Murray, a life coach and lifelong knitting enthusiast from Manchester, England, sews for “therapeutic reasons.”
“She seemed a bit deflated/surprised there was so little interest, especially as it was handmade and she’d put a lot of work into it,” Hett said.
Shortly after tweeting the picture of her stall, Hett shared a link to his mum’s Depop page: “Imperfect Hearts.”
And soon after Murray made her first sale — a lilac “glove monster” named Flora.
It didn’t take long for the purchases to snowball from there. Murray’s Depop shop, filled with satchels, gloves, ornaments and knitted bears, was swiftly sold out.
Hett posted a text message from his mum, sharing her shock that the story had gone viral.
“Martyn I’ve sold 9 items in the past hour,” Murray said. “I was ready to give up knitting altogether but this has made my week!! Thank you my darling, you’ve made your mother very happy.”
Depop tweeted at Hett, suggesting that his efforts were deserving of “son of the year” status.
But Hett told the Today Show he wasn’t deserving of the title.
“It’s a lovely title to have, of course, but there are probably other sons much more deserving of it,” Hett told the Today Show. “I don’t think I’m the perfect son, but I love my mum loads. And I’m so, so happy about the way things have turned out as a result of this.”
Murray, who shared a tweet searching for her son in the aftermath of the attack, has not released a statement following news of his death.
PIX11’s Ashley Soley-Cerro contributed to this report.