It was an emotional night for Coronation Street star Kym Marsh as she hosted a grand charity ball in honour of her son Archie.
On the eve of what would have been Archie’s 9th birthday, Kym was supported by family, friends and a galaxy of showbiz stars at the Hilton Hotel on Deansgate for the inaugural Archie’s Footprint Ball.
A host of Kym’s Corrie cast mates headed to the glitzy ball in all their finery.
That included Katie McGlynn, Tisha Merry, Nicola Thorp, Jennie McAlpine, Bhavna Limbachia, Faye Brookes, Simon Gregson, Alison King, Andy Whyment, Qasim Akhtar, Helen Flanagan and Jimmi Harksihin.
And Kym had plenty more support with star performances on stage from a host of her talented showbiz friends – including stunning songs from Corrie’s Victoria Ekanoye, Hayley Tamaddon and Andrew Whyment.
Shayne Ward, who headed to the ball with his fiancée Sophie Austin, also showed off the vocals that won him The X Factor.
Love Island star Amber Davies also showed off her hidden talent for singing on stage, after arriving at the ball in her retro 60s-style white minidress.
Kym spoke movingly on stage with her children David, Emilie and Polly by her side to talk about Archie, who was born prematurely at 21 weeks and five days on February 11 2009 and passed away just seconds after his birth.
And Emilie had plenty of people in tears when she performed her own song written in honour of her baby brother Archie.
Kym, who first found fame in Popstars band Hear’say, also sang on the night with a moving acoustic version of Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven in honour of Archie.
Her former Hear’say bandmate Danny Foster rocked out with his band The Big Soul Corporation at the finale of the night.
Only last year the 41-year-old played out a harrowing storyline on Corrie which saw her character Michelle Connor and husband Steve McDonald lose their beloved son Ruari at 23 weeks of pregnancy.
And Kym was joined at the ball by her co-star Simon Gregson who plays Steve and his wife Emma, who have also suffered similar tragedy.
Kym said: “It’s been nine years since I lost my little boy and it’s not something you forget and fully heal from. I’ve always wanted to do something in his memory that might help others.
Kym, in dazzling form in a full length sparkling silver gown to host the event, said: “I’m totally overwhelmed to see so many people here to support us.
“The kindness we have been shown has been humbling.”
Talking about making the brave decision to tackle the issue as a storyline on Corrie, Kym added: “I always said my reasons behind doing that storyline was to reach out and help people to talk about their own personal experiences.
“Social media went mad after that storyline and it got people talking, reaching out and discussing things.
“Child loss is such a taboo subject and it’s part of the healing process to get people talking.
“I’ve been there and I know what it’s like to feel alone.”
The ball, organised by Entertainment Today and hosted by Key 103 star Mike Toolan, raised thousands of pounds for the Mariposa Trust, also known as Saying Goodbye, which supports anyone affected by the loss of a child at any stage of pregnancy.
A grand prize auction was hosted by former Corrie star Scott Wright on the night, which also saw performances from students of The Fates Academy, the talent school run by Corrie’s Faye Brookes and her boyfriend Gareth Gates, while swing singer Wayne Devlin dazzled the crowds to start the night.