Jonathon 'JJ' McPhillips: Pal raises £4k for Upper Street stab victim's daughters
PUBLISHED: 14:20 02 May 2017 | UPDATED: 18:05 02 May 2017
When Jonathon "JJ" McPhillips was stabbed to death in Upper Street in February, his friend Shane Yerrell wanted to help a grieving family. Now, thanks to his efforts, JJ's two little girls - Lexi and Evie - have thousands of pounds for a good future in their daddy's name.
Shane set up a fundraising page after his death on February 28, and on Saturday presented a final £4,627 cheque to JJ’s mum Michelle and partner Kennedy outside his home in Milner Square.
He said: “Someone shared the Gazette article on Facebook that a father had been stabbed in Islington. It was only when I looked at the comments below that I realised it was JJ.
“It still feels so tragic. I had the impression that he was going to pull through at first, but then the extent of his brain damage was revealed [caused by a cardiac arrest].
“I went to the hospital to say goodbye and asked Michelle if I could do a fundraising website to pay for his funeral. She said to do it for his two girls instead. It’s not a life-changing amount but it can make a difference, whether for tuition or their driving lessons.
“Even £1,000 would have been great, but it grew very quickly and some people gave very large amounts. It shows how well liked he was.”
Shane knew JJ, who would have turned 29 later this month, through holding other charity fundraisers at Michelle’s pub in Waltham Abbey, Essex.
He added: “We always got on really well. JJ was easy-going, never had anything to moan about. Really chilled out. The kind of person you want to be around. The way he died, protecting someone else [after a fight erupted near Islington Assembly Hall], says it all for me.
“Kennedy and Michelle are doing so well. Obviously, they are suffering, but they are strong. I’m so proud of them.”
So far, three men – aged 19, 21 and 24 – have been arrested on suspicion of JJ’s murder. A woman, 45, was also held on suspicion of assisting an offender. No one has been charged. Anyone with information is asked to call police on 020 8345 3775.