'It shouldn't have happened' - friend of Islington man after fatal attack

Locals gathered for a vigil at the Essex Road, Islington, flower stall of Tony Eastlake, who was killed on Saturday

Locals gathered for a vigil at the Essex Road flower stall of Tony Eastlake, who was killed on Saturday - Credit: Polly Hancock/The Family

Crowds gathered to honour "flower man of Islington" Tony Eastlake on Monday (May 31),  at a vigil near Essex Road station.

Tony Eastlake, 55, died from a knife wound after being attacked on Saturday (May 29) just before 5.30pm.

Two days later, a crowd of family, friends, customers, passers-by and neighbours gathered at his flower stall where he had worked since he was 14.

Friend Jody Graber told well wishers at the vigil: “This has been a massive trauma for our community. It should not have happened.

“This is for Tony Eastlake – the loveliest man who could sell you a bunch of flowers.”

One of the many tributes taped to Tony’s flower stall on Essex Road.

One of the many tributes taped to Tony’s flower stall on Essex Road. The caption reads: ‘Tony with the ball as captain of St Mary’s Primary School football team 1975/6’. - Credit: Polly Hancock

He said Mr Eastlake was known by everyone in the community, including those who just passed by on the bus, and he was a good friend.

Mr Graber, who recently stood as an independent council candidate in the St Peter's ward by-election, led a chorus of “there’s only one Tony Eastlake” before the crowd released blue balloons into the warm evening sky.

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Tony Burke, who lives nearby recalled the flower man refusing to let him pay for flowers for his father's funeral: “He was such a lovely man. He was not just the flower man of Islington, he was a friend. I will miss him terribly.

The Metropolitan Police said witnesses recalled seeing Mr Eastlake in “an altercation” with another man before the assault.

In a statement, his family said: “Our hearts are broken forever at the loss of such a very special man. A man who was loved by everybody in the Islington community, who is remembered as kind and caring and always laughing, but most importantly, a father who leaves behind a devastated family, Lisa, Pauline, and his only daughter and best friend Paige, who he adored."

Islington flower man, Tony Eastlake's vigil.

A woman leaves a condolence message following the fatal stabbing of Tony Eastlake in Islington. - Credit: Polly Hancock

Leader of Islington Council Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz said: “We are appalled and devastated by his tragic murder, and our heartfelt thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

A post-mortem examination is due to take place in the coming days. No arrests have been made.

Police are keen to hear from anyone in Halliford Road or Ecclesbourne Road between 5.20pm and 5.25pm on May 29 who may have seen what happened or anyone running away from the scene. 

A tribute to Tony calls him a "true Islington legend".

A tribute to Tony calls him a "true Islington legend". - Credit: Polly Hancock

They also urged drivers with dashcams and residents with private CCTV to contact police or check their footage. 

Anyone with information can call 101 quoting reference CAD 5562/29May, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Jody Graber reads tributes from the book of condolences.

Jody Graber reads tributes from the book of condolences with former partner Lisa Maggs and her and Tony’s daughter Paige Eastlake. - Credit: Polly Hancock

Rounds of applause for Tony punctuated the reading of tributes from the book of condolences.

Rounds of applause for Tony punctuated the reading of tributes from the book of condolences - Credit: Polly Hancock

Locals gathered to pay their respects to Tony at the flower stall where he had worked since he was 14. 

Locals gathered to pay their respects to Tony at the flower stall where he had worked since he was 14. - Credit: Polly Hancock

Ralph, Tony’s 15 year old pug.

Ralph, Tony’s 15 year old pug. - Credit: Polly Hancock

One of the many tributes taped to Tony's flower stall on Essex Road.

One of the many tributes taped to Tony's flower stall on Essex Road. - Credit: Polly Hancock

Islington's Young Mayor Rosie Kunaz was one of those who came to pay their respects.

Islington's Young Mayor Rosie Kunaz was one of those who came to pay their respects. - Credit: Polly Hancock

A crowd of Tony's friends, family and customers release blue balloons in Tony's honour.  

A crowd of Tony's friends, family and customers release blue balloons in Tony's honour. - Credit: Polly Hancock


A young girl writes a message in memory of Tony. 

A young girl writes a message in memory of Tony. - Credit: Polly Hancock


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