Stabbed Forest Gate teenager's father renews witness appeal during Clapton Community Football Club tribute ride
PUBLISHED: 17:00 29 April 2019 | UPDATED: 17:08 29 April 2019
The father of a teenager fatally stabbed yards from his front door urged parents to help end knife crime during a Clapton Community Football Club bike ride in memory of his son.
Samer Sidhom spoke in the same Forest Gate road where 18-year-old student, Sami, was attacked a year ago.
Thanking ride marshalls, club supporters and players, Samer said: “Sami's life was taken by cowards in the dark, but I'm sure he is witnessing the love, care and humanity of everyone here today and all the love that his family receive from neighbours, colleagues and the community.
“The killings still continue every week and it's up to us as parents and a community to say that this can't continue.”
Samer was applauded for one minute by about 40 ride participants who stopped outside his home en route from the Old Spotted Dog stadium in Upton Lane to the side's Stray Dog ground in Walthamstow on Saturday.
Sami lost his life after being attacked on April 16 last year in what police believe was a case of mistaken identity.
The West Ham season ticket holder and keen cyclist was studying law with history at Queen Mary University.
During his speech, Samer said that his son used to ride his bike as a boy on the same pavement where he died.
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A year since his death, the club teamed up with Newham Cyclists for the ride ahead of the team's 3-2 win over Samurai Rovers on Saturday.
Captain, Eliot Crosbie, said before setting off: “Today's important to bring together the community, to show that everyone has a right to live without fear of harm and to spread love.”
Team mate, Stefan Kilron, added: “What happened was unacceptable. We want to show we're here if [the family] need us.”
Clapton CFC member, Annu Mayor, said: “As a club we want to bring communities together to support each other through football and sport.
“Because of Sami's love of football and cycling, the club wanted to dedicate their first bike ride to Sami's memory.”
So far Sami's killers have not been brought to justice despite public appeals including his father's appearance on Crimewatch.
Newham mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz, urged witnesses: “Please come forward because [Sami's] father really needs to have justice.”
A £20,000 reward has been offered for information leading to a conviction.
Anyone with information should call 020 8345 3715 or tweet @MetCC or phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.