05 August 2017

Promising footballer, 16, stabbed to death after ambushed by masked gang as he left party following ‘mass brawl’

A GIFTED young footballer was stabbed to death in the street after he was ambushed by a masked gang.

Joshua Bwalya, 16, was leaving a party at a community centre in Barking with his two friends, when the gang chased them into a supermarket.

Joshua Bwalya was stabbed to death in the street after he left a party at Barking community centre
PA:Press Association

It is thought Joshua and his friends left the party when a fight broke out as 20 teenagers gatecrashed the event.

But he was stabbed at around 1 am. His two friends desperately banged on people’s doors to get help for Joshua.

Passers-by also tried to help save the former Dagenham Park pupil’s life, but he was tragically pronounced dead at the scene.

The talented teenager who played for Barking FC was about to start a business course at college.

His family have described the teen with a promising future as “beautiful, kind and talented”.

Joshua’s sister, who asked not to be named, told the Evening Standard her brother was the victim of a “postcode war”.

She added: “he was a beautiful boy with his life ahead of him and now our family has been ripped apart.

“You hear about this on the news, but you never know what it is to feel this pain until it happens to you.”


Detective Chief Inspector Gary Holmes of the Metropolitan Police’s homicide and major crime command said: “Joshua’s young life was cut short by a senseless act of violence when he was approaching the prime of his life.

“The attack was not only cowardly, but brutal. I would urge anyone who has information that can help our investigation to come forward and help us to bring Joshua’s murderers to justice.”

Joshua had played for Barking since he was 13 and one day dreamed of playing for Chelsea.

Barking are planning to hold a memorial game and hope to raise money for his family.

A fundraising page has already been set up to support the teenager’s family.

It says: “No words can explain this feeling, completely indescribable.

“Joshua was a beautiful, loving, happy, young man who had everything to live for but sadly God had other plans.

“We have now gained an angel so please come together with us to raise money for Joshua’s Mum so that we can help her give her angel the send off he deserves.

“We all love you so much Joshua.”

Two men, one aged 16 and the other 20, were found with stab wounds nearby.

The pair were taken to different hospitals in London before being arrested on suspicion of murder, the Metropolitan Police said.

A post-mortem examination has recorded multiple stab wounds as the cause of death.

The 16-year-old has since been discharged and released on bail pending further inquires, according to Essex Live.

The 20-year-old has also been discharged from hospital, but is in custody at an east London police station.

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