Teenage boxer, 18, with ‘outstanding’ talent is stabbed to death an hour after planning post-lockdown music festival

1 month ago 10

AN ‘OUTSTANDING’ teenage boxer was stabbed to death an hour after planning a post-lockdown trip to a music festival with a pal.

The 18-year-old victim – named by friends as Luke Bellfield – was fatally knifed in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex on Friday evening, around 6pm.

Luke Bellfield was stabbed to death in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex on Friday evening

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Luke Bellfield was stabbed to death in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex on Friday evening

The young boxer had fought for the iconic Repton Boxing Club in Bethnal Green, East London

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The young boxer had fought for the iconic Repton Boxing Club in Bethnal Green, East London

Police said he was the victim of a "targeted incident" in an alleyway and was then taken to hospital by two people.

Luke was rushed to hospital with stab wounds, but died a short time later.

Police believe the promising young boxer – who had fought for the iconic Repton Boxing Club in Bethnal Green, East London - was attacked near The Peterboat pub.

A murder probe has been launched and two people have been arrested in connection with the incident, cops said.

A post-mortem revealed he died from a single stab wound, police have announced. 

Repton chairman David Robinson paid tribute to Luke as a “lovely lad”.

'A GREAT LAD'

He said: “It’s shocking. He was a great lad. Lovely boy. He joined us at 11 years of age.

“He has been training with a local club down in Wickford, so we haven’t seen a lot of him lately. As a lad, respectful, polite, loved his boxing. You could not knock the kid at all.

“The tragedy it has ended up in is unbelievable. We are extremely shocked. He is one of our boys. We consider ourselves one big family.

“There had been an argument earlier in the day and he had got involved in an altercation with these two boys.

“Him and another boy started fighting and the other boy jumped in and stabbed him. I have heard it from someone who was down there.

“It’s a massive tragedy. He was a top boxer. He was a dedicated lad. He wore the Repton colours in a respectful way.”

Police believe the promising young boxer was attacked near The Peterboat pub

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Police believe the promising young boxer was attacked near The Peterboat pubCredit: (c) UkNewsinPictures

Police announced extra patrols and last night imposed Section 60 stop and search powers until 2am.

Luke’s close friend, Alfie Jackson, 18, had spoken to the tragic teenager just an hour before he was knifed.

He had sent Alfie money to buy tickets for the Sundown Festival in Norwich this September once Covid restrictions ends.

Heartbroken Alfie said: “I have been friends with him for years. His mum rang me and told me.

“His mum is devastated. He loved his mum to bits. I think he got stabbed. No-one really knows what happened at the moment.

“It’s terrible. It doesn’t feel real. I was speaking to him an hour before it happened. He sent me money because we were going to book festival tickets.

“And now he’s just gone. I was meant to meet him later that day. He had just come back from work. He was working in London doing painting.

“He was one of the best boxers for his age. He was an outstanding boxer. He had done it all his life.

“He went to a boxing club in London called Repton. He loved boxing.”

He added: “Luke was the nicest boy you would ever meet. Always funny, joking, lightening the mood.”

Officers were contacted just after 6pm yesterday

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Officers were contacted just after 6pm yesterdayCredit: (c) UkNewsinPictures

Two people have been arrested in connection with the investigation

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Two people have been arrested in connection with the investigationCredit: (c) UkNewsinPictures

Their planned festival trip would have been “light at the end of the tunnel” after months of lockdown.

Alfie said: “It still doesn’t feel real. It still feels like he could just give me a call any minute.”

The friends had attended FitzWimarc school in Rayleigh together and known each other for about nine years, he added.

Photos show Luke in his Repton boxing kit after a bout at the National Association of Boys & Girls’ Club Championships London finals in November, 2018.

The iconic amateur club has produced hundreds of champions, including Olympic gold medallist Audley Harrison, world Jr Middleweight champion Maurice Hopea and welterweight world champion John H. Stracey.

Pals posted touching tributes to the young boxer on social media.

Alfie’s sister Jodi Jackson,26, wrote: “It really doesn’t sink in until it hits home. My brother’s best friend, such a character.

“With your whole life ahead of you, each of you all turning 18 & planning all the exciting things you may have been able to do this year.

“On the phone to my brother yesterday arranging which festivals to go to.

Officers are carrying out enquiries in the Old Leigh area

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Officers are carrying out enquiries in the Old Leigh areaCredit: (c) UkNewsinPictures

“The teenagers that spent one of greatest years of their lives being locked down, not experiencing what 18 –years-olds should be doing such as driving, clubbing & festivals.

“Then to have your life taken at a blink of an eye. Luke Bellfield, may your beautiful young soul Rest In Peace and your amazing character live on forever.

“You are too loved to be forgotten. How do you begin to comprehend laying an 18 year old to rest.”

Another friend wrote: “Rest easy champ till we meet again my brother.”

And one hailed him as a “lovely boy and a great fighter”.

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A 31-year-old man from Westcliff and a 19-year-old man from Rayleigh were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm. They remain in custody for questioning.

A GoFundMe page has raised more than £650 to help Luke’s family with funeral costs.

Police have appealed for witnesses or anyone with mobile phone, CCTV or dash cam footage of the stabbing to come forward.

If you wish to donate, click here.

The incident happened in Leigh on Sea yesterday

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The incident happened in Leigh on Sea yesterdayCredit: (c) UkNewsinPictures
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