Murdered Dagenham teen was ‘one of the good ones’

Joel Adesina was stabbed on Friday night

Joel Adesina was stabbed on Friday night - Credit: Archant

A promising young footballer who was stabbed to death in an alley on Friday night was “one of the good ones”, according to friends.

Dagenham schoolboy Joel Adesina, 15, lay bleeding in a corner shop off Brick Lane where he sought refuge after being knifed in the stomach during a fight. He was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead just three hours later.

The former Eastbury pupil, who was continuing his studies at a further education college, was due to sit his mock GCSE exams this week. Bardag Yellows under 16s coach Ricky Downes has led tributes to the popular youngster who he described as a fast-paced winger who could have made a career in professional football.

“Even just from the six or eight months that I’ve known him, he has touched my life,” Ricky said. “He was bubbly, cheeky, all the attributes in a young man that you could have wanted. He was so full of fun and he has been cut down in the prime of his life.”

The club’s weekend league games were postponed as a mark of respect and an emotionally charged gathering was held at the side’s home ground in Valence Park on Sunday morning. Flowers and tributes were left on the pitch’s centre circle.


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A schoolfriend, who said Joel was one of his closest friends, used to play football with him at the Gascoigne Estate most Fridays.

“Joel was funny and he had a lot of pride,” he said. “He was very confident and always did anything for his friends. He will be missed a lot.

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“I felt quite sick when I found out [about his death] – it just came out of nowhere. I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye.”

Another former schoolfriend described Joel as a “good, fun guy”.

“He was always fun to be around and joking about,” he said. “He was one of the good ones.”

In a statement, Eastbury School headteacher David Dickson said the whole community was grieving “the sad loss of a young man with his whole life in front of him”.

Police arrested two men aged 23 and 24 and a woman aged 24 on Monday on suspicion of murder. At the time the Post went to press, all three remained in custody.

Detectives say Joel was walking with friends near Bethnal Green Road when they got into an argument with some people in a car just after 11pm on Friday. The group were pursued into Padbury Court where Joel was then stabbed.

Anyone with information is being urged to call 020 8345 3734 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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