West Ham United shirts stolen from shrine to road death victim

Family and friends have paid moving tributes to a 33-year-old man who died after he was involved in a road accident.

Family and friends have paid moving tributes to a “special” man who died following a road accident.

But they have been left heartbroken by sick thieves who stole from the shrine set up in his memory.

Plumber Simon Draper, of Roman Road, East Ham, tragically died after sustaining serious injuries.in the Barking Road accident.

Cousin Russell Marsh said he was his best friend as well as his cousin. The pair, who were born just six weeks apart, grew up together.

“He was the kind of person everyone wanted to be. He was always happy. Some people have two or three best friends, he had hundreds. A Facebook page set up has already had over a thousand mentions. He would drive 300 miles to go and pick something up for you in his van, he was that kind of person, the first one there to help.

“Everyone is devastated at the cruel way he was taken, so early. There is no rhyme or reason.”

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Simon, 33, has a brother Andrew and sister Jacqueline. Friends and relatives left floral tributes for Hammers fan Simon on railings close to the scene. But two West Ham shirts, left as tributes, were stolen.

A friend of Simon’s who asked not to be named said she could not believe people would do such a thing. She said : “He was a big West Ham fan. He was such a happy person and always made people laugh. He had so many friends.”

Another friend, Tara Mahabir, described the scene just after his friends discovered he had passed away. She said: “We didn’t know what to do, so we went to the local. We figured we should go where we know him best and have a drink in his name. We weren’t the only ones who thought that way.

“A sleepy little pub was transformed into a crowd of love. I walked in and people were crying and laughing - they were all talking about Simon. They were all there for Simon.”

Simon lost his life after the accident ten days ago. Police were called to reports of a car and a pedestrian in an accidnet in Barking Road, near the junction with High Street North, East Ham.

Officers, LAS and HEMS all attended the scene and Simon was taken to hospital with head, chest and leg injuries.

The woman who was driving the car involved was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and as been bailed until June.