A talented footballer found fatally stabbed in a vicious street brawl was “in the wrong place at the wrong time”, according to a club official.

Francois Kablan, 19, was pronounced dead at the scene on Great Dover Street, Southwark, at 5.30pm on Wednesday after reports of several men fighting nearby, police said.

Met Police want anyone with information on footballer Francois Kablan’s death to contact the forceCredit: Met Police

The victim was a reserve player for Harlow Town FC which has paid tribute, saying members were “devastated” about the news.


Vice president Paul Wilson added: “Francois was very well-liked here. He was very popular.

“We heard he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The Met Police have today issued a further appeal for information about the SE1 stabbing.

Officers were called to Southwark, May 13, to reports of “a number of males fighting near the location”.

London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance attended, but the Bermondsey man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Francois’s next of kin have been informed and are being looked after by specialist officers.

A post-mortem took place on Friday, May 15.

DCI Kate Kieran, homicide and specialist crime, leading the investigation said: “Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Francois.

“This is a tragic loss of life of a young man and we will continue to investigate to ensure justice.”

Cops arrested two teenage boys, aged 15 and 17, and a 20 year-old-man, along with an 18-year-old girl near the scene on suspicion of murder.

Two of those arrested, the 20-year-old man and girl, 18, have been bailed to return in late May.

Police have applied for a warrant for further detention for the 15 and 17-year-old boys – both of whom remain in police custody.

His death is the latest in a tragic series of fatal knife stabbings continuing to shock London, while traumatising friends and family.

Paying tribute to their killed player, Harlow Town FC said on its website: “The club is devastated to hear the news that that one of our Reserves players, Francois Kablan, tragically passed away yesterday (May 13).

“Everyone at the Club is heartbroken at the sudden passing of Francois, who had only just turned 19 years old.”

Harlow Reserves Manager Adam Connolly said: “Francois was a wonderful person and player.

“A lot of our players went to the same college as Francois, so it’s been hard on everyone within the squad to hear of this tragic news.

“On his last game for Harlow, he scored a superb hat-trick to win us the game and walk away with the match ball.

“He was certainly a talented footballer and one who could have gone on to feature for the first team.

“On behalf of all of the squad, and everyone at the club, our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Harlow Town added that “everyone at the club sends our heartfelt condolences to Francois’ family and friends, and we ask for respect and privacy for them at this extremely difficult time.”

Among those posting tributes on the club’s Facebook page was Folkestone Invicta Football Club, which said: “Such sad news, our thoughts are with the club and Francois’s family during this difficult time.”

Chris Ottaway added: “Incredibly sad news for everyone, for Francois’s family and friends, and the Harlow Town FC family.

“We are all devastated. Rest in Peace young man.”

Anthony Coldwell posted: “Very sad R.I.P Francois too young to be taken away. Our thoughts are with you and your family and friends at this horrible time.”

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A GoFundMe Page set up to help his family cover funeral costs describes the young man as a “clean-hearted person who had a bright future and he’s sadly left us”.

Detective Chief Inspector Kate Kieran urged anyone with information to call police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.


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