UPDATE: 'Goodnight Mum, Love You Loads', Family Of Murdered Soldier Reveals His Final Text (PICTURES)

The family of the the man killed in a suspected terror attack in Woolwich has paid tribute to "a loving son, husband, father, brother and uncle".

Drummer Lee Rigby of 2nd battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was killed in a suspected terror attack on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed the 25-year-old's identity on Thursday afternoon.

The statement from Lee Rigby's family said: "Lee was lovely. He would do anything for anybody, he always looked after his sisters and always protected them. He took a 'big brother' role with everyone.

"All he wanted to do from when he was a little boy, was be in the Army. He wanted to live life and enjoy himself. His family meant everything to him. He was a loving son, husband, father, brother, and uncle, and a friend to many.

"We ask that our privacy be respected at this difficult time."

The 25-year-old solder was identified on Thursday afternoon in a statement from the Ministry of Defence, which described him as "extremely popular and witty" with a "larger than life personality."

lee rigby

Drummer Lee Rigby, of the 2nd battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was killed on Wednesday

He was father to a two-year-old son named Jack and had served tours of duty in Afghanistan, Germany and Cyprus, it added.

Lieutenant Colonel Jim Taylor MBE, Commanding Officer Second Fusiliers, paid tribute to a "true warrior" and said: "He will be sorely missed by everyone in the Second Fusiliers.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this incredibly difficult time. Once a Fusilier, Always a Fusilier."

lee rigby wedding

Drummer Rigby on his wedding day

Two men have been arrested after Drummer Rigby, believed to be wearing a Help for Heroes t-shirt, was attacked with a machete just yards from the Royal Artillery Barracks.

According to Twitter user @AndyWhyteUK, Drummer Rigby had been raising money for the Help for Heroes charity, which helps those who have been wounded in Britain's current conflicts.

In the aftermath of the attack, an unidentified woman was seen kneeling by Drummer Rigby, appearing to pray for and comfort him. She had reportedly urged the suspects to allow her to approach the dying man.

A man with bloodied hands swore to "never stop fighting" as emergency crews rushed to the scenes.

Footage obtained by ITV news showed a man carrying knives, speaking into a camera.

lee rigby woolwich attack

A woman and two children leave floral tributes at the scene where Drummer Rigby lost his life

It shows a suspect, wearing a dark jacket, jeans and a beanie hat, calmly walking towards the camera with what appears to be two large knives clasped by the handles in his bloodied left hand.

Gesticulating with both hands - while gripping the weapons - the man points to his own face as he says: "We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth."

A mother-of-two confronted the attackers, urging them to hand over their weapons and warning them: "It is only you versus many people, you are going to lose".

Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, 48, told the Daily Telegraph that one of the attackers said to her that they "want to start a war in London tonight".

woolwich machete attack

One of the suspects was filmed with bloodied hands, holding knives

The Cub Scout leader from Cornwall, added: "Being a Cub leader I have my first aid so when I saw this guy on the floor I thought it was an accident - then I saw the guy was dead and I could not feel any pulse.

She added: "I asked him if he did it and he said yes, and I said, 'Why?' And he said because he has killed Muslim people in Muslim countries, he said he was a British solider and I said, 'Really?' And he said, 'I killed him because he killed Muslims and I am fed up with people killing Muslims in Afghanistan, they have nothing to do there'."

woolwich attack second man knife

Ingrid Loyau-Kennett confronts a suspect

Prime Minister David Cameron has branded the killing a "betrayal of Islam".

Speaking in Downing Street on Thursday morning, he said there was "absolutely no justification" for the murder which is believed to have been carried out by Islamist extremists.

"What happened yesterday in Woolwich has sickened us all. On our televisions last night and in our newspapers this morning we have all seen images that are deeply shocking. The people who did this were trying to divide us. They should know something like this will only bring us together and make us stronger," he said.

US president, Barack Obama, condemned the 'horrific' attack and promised to 'stand resolute' with the UK in the face of terrorism.

In a statement, the president said: "I condemn in the strongest terms the appalling attack against a British service member in Woolwich on 22 May. The United States stands resolute with the United Kingdom, our ally and friend, against violent extremism and terror.

"There can be absolutely no justification for such acts, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim, the police and security services responding to this horrific act and the communities they serve, and the British people."

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  • Michael Adebolajo, 29, has been found guilty of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby by jurors at the Old Bailey.

  • Michael Adebowale

    Michael Adebowale, 22, has been found guilty of the murder of Lee Rigby by jurors at the Old Bailey.

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    Vauxhall Tigra in the compound

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    Michael Adebolajo during police interview

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    Army Bag

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    kitchen knife recovered at the scene.

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    found in the Vauxhall Tigra on the passenger seat.

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    Letter handed by one of defendants to a member of the public (side 2)

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    Letter handed by one of defendants to a member of the public (side 1)

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    Adebowale whilst on the floor raising his gun

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    Adebolajo and Adebowale on the floor

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    Adebolajo falling to the floor

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    Adebolajo walking back to the south footpath of Artillery Place as bus reverses

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    Adebolajo and Adebowale talking to member of the public

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    Adebowale with gun in right hand behind tree

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    Vauxhall Tigra drives westbound Wellington Street, Woolwich, at 13:30hrs, 22 May 2013

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    Adebolajo purchases knife set and sharpener from Argos at 14:13 on 21 May 2013

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    Adebolajo enters Argos in Lewisham at 13:55 on 21 May 2013

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    a still showing bullet damage to a green telephone box

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    a still showing bullet damage to the wall

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    a still of Lee Rigby at Woolwich DLR station on 22 May 2013

  • Latest material from the Lee Rigby murder trial

    The gun used

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The family of Fusilier Lee Rigby, wife Rebecca with son Jack arrive at Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The hearse carrying the coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby arrives at Bury Parish church in Bury, Greater Manchester, ahead of his funeral tomorrow.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The family of Fusilier Lee Rigby, wife Rebecca with son Jack arrive at Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    Mourners including wife Rebecca with son Jack (right) arrive at Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of the funeral of Fusilier Lee Rigby.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby is brought to Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The family of Fusilier Lee Rigby, wife Rebecca with son Jack arrive at Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby is brought to Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby is brought to Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby is carried into Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby is carried into Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby is carried into Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The family of Fusilier Lee Rigby, Wife Rebecca with son Jack leave Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, after a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby is carried into Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    Rebecca Rigby carries her son Jack alongside her mother Susan Metcalfe as the leave Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, after a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby is brought to Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    Crowds line the streets as coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby is brought to Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    Lyn Rigby (centre) the mother of Fusilier Lee Rigby leaves Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, after a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby is brought to Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    Aimee West, fiancee of Fusilier Lee Rigby, (second left black stripy top), watches as wife Rebecca Rigby, carrying son Jack, follows the coffin as it arrives at Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby is brought to Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby is brought into Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby is brought to Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby is brought to Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby is brought to Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The hearse carrying the coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby arrives at Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby is brought to Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby is brought to Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    The coffin of Fusilier Lee Rigby is carried into Bury Parish church in Greater Manchester, for a vigil on the eve of his funeral.

  • Lee Rigby funeral

    An envelope addressed to Middleton in Manchester and Woolwich in London, sent from Barbados, sent to Rebecca Rigby, wife of murdered soldier Lee Rigby, at the Fusilier Museum in Bury, during a media interview in the run up to her husbands funeral.