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Tributes for murdered talented footballer

PUBLISHED: 10:15 15 September 2010 | UPDATED: 16:27 15 September 2010

Rio McFarlane

Rio McFarlane

Hundreds of people have paid tribute to a talented 18-year-old footballer shot dead in the street.

On Monday, police visited the scene in Peckham where Rio McFarlane was killed a week earlier.

The teenager, who attended Aspire Football Academy at Eltham College, in Grove Park, Mottingham, had tried out for Blackpool and Arsenal.

Friends and college chums left scores of messages on Facebook. Gary Achilles wrote: “To my little brother from another mother, it was such a pleasure to have known you and to have called you a friend. So friendly, polite and respectful.”

Another, Prosper Million-Fortunatos, wrote: “Such a shock. I remember when you were just six years old. Such a beautiful child, just looking at some pictures I have of you back in the day with your West Ham football kit on.

“I am so sorry that your family are going through this. Such a good young man from a decent respectable family.”

His manager and coach, Gavin Rose, said he was a talented footballer and was not involved in gangs. He added: “Rio was very outgoing and would talk to anyone, young or old, with respect. I have no idea why this happened. And that’s the worse part for his family, seeing a young, innocent lad taken away like that.”

Mr MacFarlane was found suffering a gunshot wound in Dragon Road. He died at the scene. A 21-year-old man arrested near the scene has since been released with no further action while another, also arrested at the scene, was bailed to a date in late October pending further inquiries.

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