Tragic fam­ily give thanks to pub­lic for their sup­port

Rochdale Observer - - BYGONE DAYS - Damon.wilkin­son@men­ @Da­monWilkin­son6

THE fam­ily of Mo­hammed Aftab, who was found dead on Christ­mas Day, have thanked the peo­ple of Rochdale for their ‘unity and sup­port’ fol­low­ing the 21-year-old’s fu­neral.

As the Observer re­ported on Satur­day hun­dreds of mourn­ers at­tended fu­neral prayers at the Bi­lal mosque and burial at Dene­hurst ceme­tery last Thurs­day.

The mosque was so full hun­dreds stood out­side in the pour­ing rain as they paid their re­spects.

Among them were sev­eral of Mo­hammed’s friends, wear­ing hood­ies with the words ‘RIP’ and his nick­name ‘Tabi’ printed on the back.

Now the fam­ily of Mo­hammed, whose body was found on Dye­house Lane, in Small­bridge, at around 8.15am on De­cem­ber 25, have is­sued a state­ment through Bi­lal mosque.

A post on the mosque’s Facebook page said: “Over 3,000 peo­ple men & women young & old peo­ple of all races & re­li­gion at­tended the fu­neral of Mo­hammed Aftab who re­cently lost his life.

“Af­ter the fu­neral the body of Mo­hammed Aftab was taken to Dene­hurst Ceme­tery by fam­ily & friends to lay him to rest in peace.

“The fam­ily would like to thank ev­ery­one who at­tended the fu­neral from up & down the coun­try & es­pe­cially the lo­cal com­mu­nity who in these dif­fi­cult times stood by the fam­ily & sup­ported them.

“On Be­half of the Fam­ily & Bi­lal Mosque we would like to thank all the Vol­un­teers, Fam­ily & Friends and also a Mas­sive Thank you to GMP Po­lice, Rochdale Coun­cil, Link for Life, Arif Cash and Carry and Rochdale Foot­ball club who helped to­day with­out you it would have not been pos­si­ble, it’s times likes these where we show unity and sup­port each other through dif­fi­cult times.

“Now lets pray for Mo­hammed Aftab that Al­lah SWT grants him a place in Par­adise & gives the fam­ily sabar in these dif­fi­cult times. Ameen.”

Po­lice say Mo­hammed, an avid Arse­nal fan, had suf­fered mul­ti­ple head in­juries and stab wounds to his neck.

Last week Mo­hammed’s fam­ily, from Belfield, spoke of their dev­as­tat­ing loss.

In a state­ment is­sued through Greater Manch­ester Po­lice they said: “There are no words to de­scribe what has hap­pened, what we have lost. We ask as a fam­ily why some­one so vi­brant and full of life has now been taken from us?

“This has been a dev­as­tat­ing loss to all the fam­ily. You see these things hap­pen to other peo­ple, but can never com­pre­hend it when it hap­pens to you.

“We all loved him from the bottom of our hearts and will miss him.”

Ja­son Byrnes, 26, of Waith­lands Road, New­bold, has been charged with mur­der in con­nec­tion with Mo­hammed’s death.

He has been re­manded in cus­tody to ap­pear at Manch­ester Crown Court on March 13.

●●Hun­dreds of peo­ple at­tended the fu­neral of Mo­hammed Aftab, who was found dead on Christ­mas Day

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