A great-great grandmother stabbed in a fatal attack in west London woke up in hospital and asked how England got on the football.
The Brentford community has rallied round popular local Betty Walsh, 82, following the incident which left a 20-year-old man who tried to help her dead.
Ali Abucar Ali, the heroic young victim, was ‘always smiling and loved by everyone’, those who knew him have revealed.
Police were called to Albany Parade in Brentford at around 7.50pm on Friday and found Mr Ali, 20, dead at the scene.
Norris Henry, 37, has been charged with murder and attempted murder following the incident and is due to appear before Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on Monday, November 15.
Ms Walsh, described as a ‘Brentford legend’, was found with stab wounds after going to get a kebab, with her family claiming that she had been punched to the floor.
When she woke up at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington on Friday night, following a kidney operation, she asked about the score in England’s match against Albania.
Her condition is described as serious but not life-threatening.
Mr Ali’s mother is said to have had rushed to comfort Ms Walsh’s family before she got the devastating news from police that her son had been knifed to death.
Affectionately known in the area as ‘Betty Boo’, Ms Walsh worked in four local pubs in the area, where she has lived all her adult life.
Now she also has 10 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and a great-great granddaughter.
Her eldest daughter Bridget said: ‘Everyone knew mum. She has lived in Brentford for 60 years.
‘She was lively and fit; she walked every day and was a strong woman.
‘She went out shopping a lot and wasn’t frail at all. She was football-mad and Brentford FC-mad.’
The 60-year-old added: ‘After her operation she was able to talk to us on the phone and was asking about the football score this morning.
‘Last night I got back from work and was told “mum’s been stabbed.” I was so scared and in complete shock. I am just glad she is alive.’
Ms Walsh’s daughter added that her mum ‘didn’t realise she had been punched and stabbed’ until Mr Ali tried to help her.
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Gerhard Peleschka, the manager of local pub The Griffin, explained: ‘Betty used to work here on match days during the busiest times.
‘She was here until 1978, she was the best barmaid you’d ever meet.
‘She knew everyone, everyone loved her. People knew her for years and years, she’s a Brentford legend.
‘What happened is just so tragic, because she is so well-known.’
He said Ms Walsh, originally from Ireland, is a mother of seven and as ‘fit as a fiddle’, adding: ‘It just blows your mind what happened to her.’
Mr Peleschka described the incident as unusual in a close-knit community where ‘everyone knows everyone’, and described it as ‘an absolutely safe area’.
Earlier, Ms Walsh’s grandson left a bouquet of flowers at the scene.
One of her sons, who did not give his name, arrived shortly afterwards. He declined to speak to reporters, except to say: ‘This is England. This is society.’
Ms Walsh’s daughter Bridget told The Sun she was in complete shock when she heard what happened to her mother.
She told the newspaper she wanted to thank the police and neighbours who helped, hailing them as ‘heroes’.
Police said there is no evidence linking the stabbings to terrorism and no-one else is being sought over the incident.
Inquiries are ongoing to establish if anyone involved was known to each other.
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