'He put a smile on everyone's face': Friends pay tribute to stabbing death teen Fico Dougan
Friends of teenager Fico Dougan, who was stabbed to death in Broad Green on Wednesday, today expressed disbelief at the killing of a boy who "put a smile on everyone's face".
More than 70 mourners yesterday gathered outside the house where the 17-year-old died to remember a popular and hard-working student who had been "trying to make his mum proud".
Childhood friends and schoolmates were among the group united in tribute to the talented footballer, who died after being stabbed four times in Ockley Road.
Tearful mourners, some arriving on bike in honour of the teenager's love of cycling, laid flowers outside the house where he was killed and express disbelief at the manner of his death.
Among them was Dexter Sebunya, 19, of Golf Close, who grew up with Fico in Thornton Heath and had known him since he was four.
He said: "I didn't think anyone could have a problem with him. He put a smile on everyone's face. He was a lovely guy to be around. I couldn't fault him.
"It's hard to believe what has happened. It has not sunk in yet. I saw him just on Saturday. He was on his way home from a party.
"I didn't see him as much as I used to because he moved away, but I know he was at college.
"He was just trying to make his mum proud."
Fico, real name Fiifi, had enrolled at John Ruskin College on a business management diploma just a week before his death.
Friends said he was committed to his studies and to "getting ahead in life".
One, a close friend who did not want to be named, said: "I met him through football. But he stopped playing football as much because he was trying to take everything seriously - his life, his studies.
"He did not want to be here anymore, he wanted to get away from Croydon. He was getting ahead in life. He wasn't involved in gangs.
Another added: "He was just really cool. Everyone who knew him liked him.
"He wanted the best for everyone. If he knew someone wanted something he would want them to have it, too."
Fico's former neighbours in Willowtree Way, where he lived as a child, said he had been popular.
One, a mother of two teenagers, said: "My kids used to play with him. He is just a child. It is terrible."
Richard Parrish, Fico's former headteacher at Archbishop Tenision's Church of England High School, said yesterday his death had been "a devastating piece of news" for pupils and staff.
Mr Parrish said: "He had a good heart. We knew that. He had a big grin on his face, which people liked. We won't easily forget that."
Police arrested a 16-year-old boy after the stabbing, at around 2pm, on suspicion of murder. He remains in custody.
Both Fico and 16-year-old are understood to have been visiting a girl in Ockley Road when the attack happened.
Did you know Fico Dougan? Contact the newsdesk on 0208 722 6351 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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