“Today is a sad and emotional day for our entire family as we say goodbye to Chris. But it is also a day for us to celebrate Chris’s life and remember our loving son, brother, boyfriend and true friend to many.
Chris was all about love and he lived his life to the full. He loved to travel and enjoyed experiencing new countries and meeting new people. We often talked about where he had been, one particular favourite was a family trip down the Nile.
Chris loved football, and in particular watching his beloved Oldham Athletic Football Club. He could be seen regularly on the terraces, the highlight being the trip to Wembley for the 1990 League Cup.
Chris went to Nigeria to gain professional experience and was welcomed like a family member by his employer and colleagues at B Stabilini & Co. He loved Nigeria and the people and made many friends in the country.
Our family have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from family and friends. We know how much everyone thought of our Chris. He had a positive and happy outlook on life and everyone who met and knew Chris will know that he had a heart of gold and always had time to help anyone in need.
We know that many people both here and in Nigeria worked hard to free Chris; we are grateful for their determination and the bravery of those who tried to rescue him. There have been far too many people involved over the past 10 months to thank individually; they know who they are and we thank them all most sincerely. Chris would have been proud to know that every effort was made to try and bring him home.
We are grateful to the media for continuing to respect our privacy at this difficult time.”