Danny Pearce: It was shocking news when I heard it on Saturday and I’m still in shock now really, says former team-mate Jamie Leggett

Monday 17th July 2017

TRIBUTES have been made for a former footballer who was fatally stabbed in Greenwich in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Danny Pearce, 31, who played in Bromley’s youth side in 2003-04, before leaving Hayes Lane to play for Thamesmead Town, Slade Green and Erith & Belvedere, was on his way home from a night out with his girlfriend at a jazz bar around midnight when two muggers on a moped wearing motorbike helmets approached him in King William Walk.

The thieves were armed with a kitchen knife and a pistol and demanded his possessions – a Rolex watch and mobile phone.

But moments later one of the attackers jumped off the moped and slashed Pearce’s throat.

The Metropolitan Police and the London Ambulance Service were called to the scene at 12:15 on Saturday morning but Pearce was pronounced dead at the scene.

Jamie Leggett, was Pearce’s team-mate in the youth ranks at Thamesmead Town and Bromley, says he is still in a state of shock.

“I played with him before we went over to Bromley.  I played with him at Thamesmead where we won the Bexley League and then we went over to Bromley,” said the current Erith & Belvedere first team coach.

“A lot of the games were very aggressive and hard tackling and he literally always did never shirk from a challenge, he was always in the mix of it.  He was a great player in that sense. 

“When he was off the pitch he was always there as a leader, even though he wasn’t a captain, he was always one of the main leaders on and off the pitch.

“It’s heartfelt. It was shocking news when I heard it on Saturday and I’m still in shock now really. 

“I don’t know what to say, he’s the same age as me, same positions as me. I’ve got a little girl at home, he’s got a little girl, it’s heartbreaking.

“I know that he’s going to be missed by a lot and lot of people. I’m just in shock really as well.”

Erith & Belvedere host Bromley in a pre-season friendly at Park View Road on Tuesday night (19:45).

“We’re going to have a minutes silence before the game because he played for Erith & Belvedere’s reserves as well,” added Leggett, who will also arrange a collection for Pearce’s family.

A “heartbroken” former team-mate, Dean Bowey, reacted to the “tragic news”, adding: “I played with him at Slade Green and Thamesmead and managed him on a Sunday, great lad Danny!

"If anything can be done to help Pearcey's family at this sad, sad
time, I'm only too willing to help!"

Current Phoenix Sports first team manager, Steve O’Boyle added: “He won the league with us at Thamesmead.  Terrible news.”

Stephen McCartney, 40, who is the Editor of www.kentishfootball.co.uk and reported on Bromley’s Kent Youth League games during the 2003-04 season, added: “Thoughts are with the family of Danny Pearce, 31, fatally stabbed in Greenwich.

“Hope those evil cowards on a moped get caught and punished for a long time. Scumbags. RIP Danny Pearce.”

Detective Inspector Jo Sidaway, who is leading the investigation, said in a statement: “I am appealing for any witnesses to any part of the incident, or anyone with any information, to contact our incident room and assist our investigation.”

Anyone that can assist the investigation can contact the incident room on 0208 721 4005, or Police via 101 or Twitter @MetCC.