Lee Rigby was a popular 25-year-old ceremonial military drummer and machine-gunner, a father and a passionate fan of the Manchester United soccer team.
A member of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, he joined the army in 2006, was posted in Cyprus, Afghanistan and Germany before becoming a recruiter, assisting with duties in the Tower of London.
"All he wanted to do from when he was a little boy was be in the Army," Drummer Rigby's family said in a statement issued through the Ministry of Defence. "He wanted to live life and enjoy himself."
The family said that he would "do anything for anybody," always looked out for his sisters and took a "big brother" role with everyone he met.
Drummer Rigby, nicknamed Riggers, was an important member of the Corps of Drums who was known for his good nature and wit, as well as his love of his hometown soccer team, fellow soldiers said.
"He was one of the battalion's great characters, always smiling and always ready to brighten the mood with his fellow Fusiliers. He was easily identified ... on parade by the huge smile on his face and how proud he was to be a member of the Drums," Warrant Officer Class 1 Ned Miller said in a statement issued by the Defence Ministry.
"He would always stop for a chat just to tell me Manchester United would win the league again."
The ministry said Drummer Rigby had a two-year-old son, Jack.