'A hero and a role model' - Tributes paid after young basketball coach Ali Abucar Ali killed

Tributes have been paid to young basketball coach Ali Abucar Ali, who was killed while trying to help an elderly woman as she was attacked in Brentford on Friday. 

Ali, a coach for Chiswick Gators Basketball Club and a former student at Chiswick School, went to the 84-year-old's aid as she was stabbed in the street, reports the Chiswick Calendar. 

The 20-year-old, who was also stabbed, has been described as ‘a hero and a role model’. 

Chiswick Gators Basketball Club wrote: 

“This is the saddest day in the club’s history. Coach Ali Abcur Ali of @ChiswickSchool tragically had his life taken helping an elderly lady being attacked. Ali was only 20 years of age at the prime of his life. He will be missed by everyone at the club.” 

Chiswick School headteacher Laura Ellener told The Chiswick Calendar: 

“We are all devastated at the school. Ali was the nicest, most wonderful boy you could ever meet. He was so kind and humble, he was hard working and had his whole life ahead of him. He remained connected to the school after he graduated by coaching his much-loved basketball with the Chiswick Gators Club. 

“This morning as a school we held assemblies where we explained what had happened to the students and held a silence to remember Ali. We are now working on a way that we can commemorate his life and celebrate how extraordinary and special he was. I have been overwhelmed by the support of the community and parents who have reached out to offer support. 

“Ali was a hero and a role model and we are grateful to have been enriched as a school community by him. Our thoughts are with his family and his loved ones during this difficult time.” 

Chiswick School PE department tweeted: 

“Ali was a wonderful, kind soul, a fantastic student and a much-loved basketball coach. He will be missed by everyone. Sending love to his family and loved ones at this difficult time.”

London Lions head coach Vince Macauley described Ali as ‘very lovely young man, gentle and kind.’ 

Basketball England sends condolences to Ali’s family and friends and all at Chiswick Gators. 

The woman who was attacked has been named as Betty Walsh. She was stabbed multiple times on Albany Parade.

A man has been charged with murder and attempted murder.