The family of a teenager who died after being stabbed in Chigwell have paid tribute to a “talented” boy.
Ayodele Osifuwa was found with a leg wound on a grass verge at the roundabout junction of Limes Avenue and Westmede shortly before 9pm on December 9.
The 17-year-old Plaistow boy was taken to Royal London Hospital by paramedics but died there on February 7.
Ayodele was a former pupil of Nightingale Primary School in Wanstead and Wanstead High School. He also attended Constance Bridgeman School in Chadwell Heath.
At the time of his death he was attending Kensington and Chelsea College and hoping to go on to university.
The young boy’s family said: “He lived all his life within the love, care and affection of his parents, Adebayo and Bolanle, and his brothers Adeoye, Adetayo and Tiwalade. Ayodele was very much loved by his parents, siblings, extended family and friends due to his very likeable nature right from his childhood.
"Ayodele was a talented and aspiring footballer. He played for the football teams in both his primary and secondary schools. He also played for many youth football teams in Redbridge area and before his death he was playing for Grays Athletic Football Club.
"There was never a dull moment with Ayodele. He was full of life, very humorous, loved practical jokes and good food. He was a very happy young man who always had a smile on his face. He had everything to live for.
“His death has created an irreplaceable vacuum within his immediate and extended families.
“Shame on the coward who perpetrated the heinous crime that terminated Ayodele’s life.”
The family said that they “salute the gallant battle” which Ayodele fought in hospital and thanked all emergency services and medical staff who treated him.
“We will never forget to acknowledge, with profound gratitude, the magnificent efforts of the surgeons, consultants, doctors, nurses and all the other staff at Royal London Hospital who fought tooth and nail to keep him alive up to the very last moment," the statement added.
"Although, Ayodele lost the battle to stay alive, he won our sincere respect and admiration.
"Ayodele’s shocking and untimely exit from this world has permanently blighted the lives of those he left behind and he is sorely missed by his parents, brothers, grandmother, aunts, uncles and all other extended families and also his true friends.
“Words cannot sufficiently describe our loss.
“We pray that the Almighty God will grant his soul everlasting peace and eternal rest. Good night Super Dele.”
A post-mortem examination was conducted but further examinations are required to fully establish the cause of death.
Marcus Audain, 20, of no fixed address, is currently in custody after he was charged with one count of causing Grievous Bodily Harm with intent. He is due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on March 17.
A 20-year-old man from Ilford and a 17-year-old boy from Walthamstow are currently on police bail until March 4 pending further enquiries
Anyone with information in connection with the murder is urged to contact detectives at Harlow’s Major Investigation Team on 01279 621802, email SCDappeals@essex.pnn.police.ukor call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.