Abayomi Ajose was killed in the early hours of Sunday 21 June 2021 at a street party in south Manchester. On the anniversary of death, his family, colleagues and friends remember him.
Abayomi – Junior to his friends – worked with a great many children and their families as a residential worker in children’s homes across the city.
He had dedicated his life to improving the chances and opportunities of some of the most disadvantaged young people in Manchester – working to improve lives and develop the potential in the children he met.
A year on, his family and friends prefer to remember the gentle man who had given his life to compassion and love, hoping to make the communities of Manchester a better place.
If you have any information at all about these murders please contact police on 0161 856 9908, quoting incident number 221 of 21/06/20. Alternatively, you can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Cllr Garry Bridges, Manchester City Council’s executive member for children’s services, said:
“Abayomi was in many ways the best of us. Without the likes of him there would be countless young people in Manchester who would not have the support they need to thrive and succeed, someone who sees their potential and encourages them to meet it.
“A year on and the hurt of Abayomi’s death hasn’t left us. But we will continue to remember the wonderful person that he was – and the positive impact he has had on countless lives.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”
Val Jenkinson, Abayomi's manager on behalf of Edge of Care team, said:
"We lost a colleague and friend when we lost Abe last year. He was honest, reliable and a hugely caring person.
“Abe would always listen to what people had to say. He was a great advocate and mentor for our children. He would spend time with the young people he worked with, listening, talking and exploring with them solutions to the issues that were troubling them at the time. He would use his love of being healthy and active to encourage our young people to look for alternative ways to deal with their problems.
“Abe was never afraid to offer support to us all whether that was our children, his colleagues, or friends. He had a strong but calm presence, he lit up the room with his lovely big smile, he was thoughtful, always calm and had a great sense of humour.
"The residential staff and our children miss Abe greatly. He was loved and respected by all who knew him. We are all privileged to have known such a lovely person whose main aim was always to help, support and keep us safe from harm. We will always remember Abe.”
Following Abayomi’s death, some of the children he had helped during his time at the Council wrote their own tributes:
He was a nice person. Although he has gone we will still remember the good times and even though he is not around he will always care and love you all. Sorry for you loss. Leah
God gave Abi his wings on 21.6.20 He was always the bigger person, a true knight in shining armour. Elle
Sending my love. God gained and angel. Lydia
Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Wilkinson, of GMP's Major Incident Team, said:
"A year later and we remain as determined as ever in our search for justice. We want to ensure that no one else falls victim to this criminal and no other families have to go through the agony that these families have had to face over the past year.
"Although we will never be able to reunite these men with their loved ones, we can only hope that we are able to provide a small amount of solace by ensuring that those responsible face the full consequences of their actions.
"I am appealing for anyone who hasn't come forward already to please share information with us. Our confidential hotline - 0161 856 9908 - is treated with the strictest confidence and even the smallest piece of information could be the breakthrough we need."