The family of a talented hockey star fatally stabbed in Nottingham have called her a “truly wonderful” person in a touching tribute.

Grace Kumar, 19, was on her way to follow in her father’s footsteps as she studied to become a doctor at the University of Nottingham.

However she was among three people that died in an attack in the early hours yesterday (June 13).

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: The crime scene in NottinghamThe crime scene in Nottingham (Image: PA)

Grace's family have paid their respects in a statement and said: “Grace was an adored daughter and sister; she was a truly wonderful and beautiful young lady.

“Grace was not just a sister to James but his best friend. He is completely heartbroken.

“As parents, words cannot explain our complete and utter devastation.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: A vigil was held in respect of those that died in the Nottingham attackA vigil was held in respect of those that died in the Nottingham attack (Image: PA)

The hockey star played at London’s Southgate Hockey Club as well as for the Old Loughtonians in Chigwell and England U18.

Before studying in Nottingham, she attended Bancroft's School in Redbridge.

Her father is thought to be Dr Sanjoy Kumar, a GP who saved three teenage victims of a knife attack in 2009.

It was reported that the GP was working a typical day at the Larkshall Medical Centre in Chingford on February 11, 2009, when a group of panic-stricken teens went to his surgery carrying their friends and pleading for help.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Dr Sanjoy Kumar pictured from a previous reportDr Sanjoy Kumar pictured from a previous report (Image: Newsquest archive)

In a statement regarding the attack in Nottingham, university vice-chancellor Professor Shearer West said: “It is hard to find the words to express the shock and grief felt across our institution at the senseless loss of two first year students.

“Grace was a medical student, thriving in her first year of study and inspired to a career in medicine by work placements in a GP surgery and her volunteering for the nationwide vaccination programme during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“She was a talented sportswoman, playing international hockey for both the U16 and U18 England Hockey Team and Essex U15 Women’s Cricket. She was held in the highest regard by her tutors and team mates alike.”

What happened in Nottingham?

Grace was one of two students who were fatally stabbed in Ilkeston Road, a student area of Nottingham, yesterday.

Barnaby Webber has been named as the other student, while primary school caretaker Ian Coates, in his 60s, was found a bit further away with stab wounds in Magdala Road.

Police have said it is believed the attacker then stole the older man’s van before driving it at pedestrians in Milton Street.

The vehicle was stopped by officers in Maple Street before the suspect was tasered and detained, Chief Constable Kate Meynell said.

A 31-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Three people were injured in the van attack, with one in a critical condition in hospital and two suffering minor injuries.