Family’s touching tribute to ‘bubbly’ student stabbed to death on way home from party

A family of a student who was stabbed to death while “on his way home from a party” have paid tribute to their “bubbly” son.

The 19-year-old at the centre of a murder investigation in Fallowfield, Manchester, has been named as Luke O’Connor.

The Manchester Metroplitan University student, described by loved ones as a “gentle giant”, was reportedly stabbed to death on Wilmslow Road as he returned home from a party in a random attack.

Mr O’Connor, the youngest of three boys from Bedford, was studying Business Management.

Police swarmed the scene at around 2am yesterday morning as cops gave the teenager CPR.

He was then rushed to hospital where he later died from stab wounds.

A knife was also recovered from the scene.

Today, his loved ones paid tribute to their “bubbly, lively, beautiful boy” as police continue to hunt his killer.

No arrests have been made so far.

In a statement, Luke’s family said: “Our hearts yearn for the loss of Luke; we are truly devastated by this tragedy. Luke was loved by so many people, and he knew how much he was loved in return.

“He was a second year Business Management student at university. He loved the freedom of student living and studying and was loving life in Manchester.

“Luke was the youngest of three boys in our family and was a gentle giant with big hopes and dreams for the future.

“His biggest dream was to travel the world, but now Luke will never be able to fulfil that dream. Luke loved music, football and was a big supporter of Liverpool Football Club, who he followed religiously from a young age.

“He had a profound impact on so many people throughout his life. He was truly one of a kind, who’s presence would light up any room.”

They added: “Luke’s friends also adored him, as he adored them. They often called Luke a ‘legend’ and ‘the life and soul’ of everything he did. Everyone who met him, truly loved him.

“Our lively, bubbly, beautiful boy has been taken from us and our family are now left with a hole in our hearts that will never be filled. Justice needs to be served as we have lost our beautiful young Luke, who was robbed of life.

“We will continue to honour his name for as long as we are all here, and his legacy with go on forever.”

A Manchester Metroplitan University spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Greaater Manchester Police has informed us that one of our students died in an incident in Fallowfield in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

“Our thoughts are with their family and friends at this difficult time. We will be contacting them to offer our help and support. This will be a terrible shock to our whole community and we will be arranging for professionally trained counselling staff to support any students and staff who are affected by the incident. We cannot offer further comment at this time.”

It’s understood the young man was attacked by someone he didn’t know while on his way home from a house party.

Police cordoned off Wilmslow Road between the junction with Mabfield Road and Wilbraham Road at around 2am on Wednesday, which remained in place until yesterday evening.

Cordons were also in place on Furness Road and Cawdor Road for much of the day, where neighbours reported hearing “screams”.

Many students reacted with fear and sadness over a killing that has shaken the community.

Detective Superintendent Neil Jones of Greater Manchester Police South Manchester Division worked to reassure those living in the area and said: “I know that people in Manchester will be shocked and concerned by this incident. I share this concern and assure you that there is a dedicated team of specialist officers in the area who are investigating at pace to find the person responsible.

“Local officers will be patrolling the areas and I urge anyone with information or concerns to speak to those officers who are on hand to help and support you.”

He added: “This was a terrible crime which has robbed a young man of his life and my thoughts are with his family at this devastating time.”

“We are actively pursuing leads and will relentlessly pursue the offender to ensure they are brought to justice.”