Friends and family pay tribute to Allan Isichei killed in Southall last year
Allan Isichei was a loving husband, son, brother, grandad, uncle and loyal friend and 69 years old when he was brutally killed on his way home from a pub in Southall last year.
His attacker, diagnosed schizophrenic Gurjeet Singh Lall will be sentenced next month.
Allan's family, still raw from their loss, have sent EalingToday.co.uk this tribute:
Family meant everything to Allan. He had been married to the love of his life, Sandra for 49 years and was immensely proud of his children Emma, Daniel and David. Allan was always happy, with many friends and he had many successes and great achievements.
Born in St Mary’s Paddington on 30 July 1950 to his Irish and Nigerian parents Phil and Albert, he was the eldest child, with a younger sister, Vivien and brother Kirk. He made a big impact on his brother and sister and has had a strong influence on their lives. He grew up in Queen’s Park and from a young age loved playing rugby at school. He went to Kilburn Grammar where he stood out as a talented player. When he was 17 years old, he met Sandra. Sandra and Allan married in 1970.
He was working as a computer operator at the time, but in 1974 he started a new business with his brother called Broadway Construction. Allan’s love for rugby continued and in 1972 he was selected as a front row player for Wasps. He continued to play until 2002.
At the time of his selection, in the early 1970’s, Allan was one of only two black people playing English senior rugby. Allan played nearly 200 games for Wasps first XV in the front row. Although playing in one of the most confrontational rugby positions, Allan did not argue with referees or get sent off throughout his playing career. He believed that earning respect from fellow players, coaches, management and supporters was important while acting as a role model for black players wanting to participate in rugby.
When Allan moved into coaching during the early 90’s he was keen to promote core rugby values such as integrity, respect, self-discipline and the life-long friendships generated on and off the pitch. His successful coaching career included not only Wasps teams (Youth and Women), Richmond but London Nigerians who he moulded into a winning group of players that provided entertaining rugby. Successfully coaching large numbers of rugby players across generations is one of his outstanding accomplishments and legacy.
Solomon N’Jie President Wasps FC said: '' I remember Allan for his ability to engage with people, discuss his point of view before, with a knowing smile, invariably coming out on top of most debates. A charming man and trailblazer that fitted into the rugby family. He is sorely missed.'"
Allan was a big character, he held strong opinions and at social events was the life and soul of the party. He was a man that people would naturally gravitate towards; charming, polite and incredibly knowledgeable. Family was extremely important to Allan. His favourite times were when everybody was together, for meals, special occasions and of course Christmas. He was a very proud grandfather to Aiesha, Ellie, Isaac, Arlo and Cuba, whom he loved to support and encourage in everything that they did. He was a huge influence in their lives and spent as much time as possible with them all.
He loved music and decided to learn the saxophone, and met fellow saxophonist, Isabel Davis Glebocki she said: '' We were such great friends, studying music together at Morley collage and Richmond jazz school. What fun times us jazzers had. We decided on naming ''The Circle Band" as we were all a circle of friends. He was very dear to us all, a real gentleman, kind and generous, encouraging and including people in his music endeavours. He is very much missed by us all. He was a peacock of a man - a real showman - a dearest friend.''
Allan lived a full and wonderful life. He worked hard, was successful and loved his family with all his heart. It is a tragedy that his life was ended so soon. He leaves a huge hole in all of our hearts and will be sorely missed.
We have suffered from the tragic loss of our father, who was a kind, generous & inspirational man to many. We have had to sit in court and see him described by his killer as an aggressor just is not who he was. He spent his time putting others before himself and the graphic camera footage shown in court clearly shows he was the victim of someone who chose to carry a knife.
Why was a person with a history of carrying knives who was only arrested while carrying one in January 2019 allowed to be back out on the streets unsupervised to carry out this senseless killing. In court we were told that this person would have been suffering from acute psychosis at the time of the attack as they had been off their medication for at least the last 6-9 months. Authorities must answer the questions around why someone with a history of mental illness, was arrested in January for carrying a knife and was released in April with no follow up on whether they were taking the medication that could have made a difference.
As always the voice of the victim is not heard, we can no longer ask him as he has been cruelly taken away from us. A pain we feel everyday.
We believe something must be done, we want to see some sort of positive come out of this.
Allan was known by many, will be fondly remembered by most and he lives on through his family and friends.
"Gone but never forgotten, our neighbourhood hero''
November 5 2020