The coach of a murdered teenage footballer, 15-year-old Joel Adesina, stabbed to death in London last month has launched an effort to raise cash for his funeral, according to the Evening Standard.
55-year-old Ricky Downes, has set up the Joel Adesina’s Family Fund to help pay for a send-off for the slain teenager, who died after the attack in Padbury Court, off Bethnal Green Road, Bethnal Green, on December 5.
The keen footballer, from Dagenham, played for the Bardag Yellows under-16s team, with Mr Downes describing him as a “natural” destined for great things.
On Friday, the coach, who claims he was once stabbed himself as he intervened in an altercation at a game, told the Standard the fund had been set up to ease the worry of Joel’s mum as she faces heavy costs for his funeral.
He said: “She’s a hard-working mum who’s lost the love of her life. He was her world.
“We have to put ourselves in her position, and there could hundreds in her position. This would ease her grief.”
He said donations to funeral costs, expected to be about £5,000, had already been made by the Echo League Joel’s team played in as well as other teams but the online funding effort would help pay for the rest.
So far £210 of the £2,000 target has been raised, according to the gofundme.com fundraising page which was set up on Sunday.
Mr Downes said they had to raise the cash by mid-February, around two weeks after the February 6 funeral, which only recently became possible when the coroner released his body.
Yesterday police re-bailed a 22-year-old man arrested on suspicion of Joel’s murder to a date in April. He is one of six people, including four men and two women, to remain on bail following arrests in connection with the incident.
One man has been charged with Joel’s murder. George Phillips, 20, of Pitfield Street, Hoxton, will appear in court for a plea and case management hearing on March 6.