Friends, neighbours and colleagues have paid tribute to the Wales football fan killed outside Wembley stadium before the team’s Euro qualifier with England.
Mike Dye, 44 – known as “Mikey” by friends – a Cardiff council highways worker and avid Cardiff City fan originally from Ely, was allegedly hit with one punch outside the stadium before kick-off in the international which saw England beat Wales 1-0.
The dad fell and suffered head injuries on a concourse area outside the venue’s turnstiles at around 7.20pm on Tuesday. Paramedics revealed he had also suffered a heart attack before being taken to a north London hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8.50pm.
A post-mortem examination was being conducted last night.
Six people, ranging in age from late 20s to early 40s, who were arrested and questioned in connection with the incident, were last night released on bail to return to a London police station in November. The Metropolitan Police said all were Wales fans – four from North Wales and two who were born in South Wales and now living in England.
The Met yesterday confirmed a murder investigation was under way. They said it was not believed the attack had anything to do with inter-club rivalry.
Floral tributes were left at Mr Dye’s home in the Canton area of Cardiff yesterday(Wednesday September 7) while his partner Nathalie(corr) was not home.
Mr Dye’s twin sons James and Christopher, 21, were outside the Cardiff City Stadium inspecting shirts and Welsh flags hung on gates in their father’s memory but were too distraught to talk.
Neighbours on the cul-de-sac where Mr Dye lived yesterday described him as “one of the nicest people you could ever meet”.
Carole and Martin Murphy, who live a few doors from Mr Dye’s home, knew him “very well”. They said he was often seen walking his dog Smartie and had a gym in a shed at the back of his house.
Mrs Murphy said: “I’m lost for words. He was one of the nicest people you could ever meet, he was a gentleman and family man.
“He was always out with his dog Smartie and he was an avid Cardiff City fan and had a big flag out sometimes.”
Mr Murphy said: “You hear about it in Italy and Turkey over in Europe but you don’t expect it here and at Wembley.”
Another neighbour Martine Lobina, 27, said: “I’m devastated. He was such a nice guy. He was brilliant – he would do anything for anyone.
“He did all my garden patios – I can’t believe it.
“He was a well-liked person.”
Bouchaib Lahmouddi, 49, who lived across the street from Mr Dye said: “He worked for the council and sometimes he would bring his lorry here.
“I know he supports Cardiff City. He had some flags with Cardiff City on.
“He was a respectable man.”
Annis Abraham, 45, a lifelong friend of Mr Dye, was at Wembley when the incident happened.
He said: “That body was there for about 40 minutes or 30 minutes. You couldn’t see who it was and then someone came up and said, ‘You know who that is? It’s Mikey.’
“I left the ground and police said it was touch and go whether he lives.
“We went to a cafe and I spoke to a senior police officer who has been a friend of mine for years and he said he had died just before 9pm.”
Mr Abraham said there was no trouble leading up to the game.
“We got to the ground and all I could see was the band playing and there hadn’t been any animosity between Welsh and English,” he said.
“They were walking together to the ground – it was the opposite to what anyone would think.”
Of his long-time friend, Mr Abraham said: “He was amazing – one of the best friends I’ve ever had.
“I have known him since he was 15. He has got his wife Natalie who he has left behind, which I can’t believe.
“For the last seven, eight or nine years she’s been going to the matches with him.”
Jon House, Cardiff council’s chief executive, paid tribute to the former road re-surfacer who had worked for the council for nearly two decades.
He said: “Staff at the authority are devastated at the loss of their colleague and friend who gave almost 20 years of good service to the council in a very specialised service.”
Last night Cardiff City’s chief executive Gethin Jenkins said the club would talk to the family about a fitting tribute at upcoming Bluebirds matches. He said: “Mike was clearly a committed and passionate supporter of the club for many years and his passing is extremely sad to many within our community and the football family at large.
“We will remain in close contact with his family in coming days and fully respect any wishes they may have in relation to any public tributes.”
A Metropolitan police spokesman said: “Michael John Dye of Cardiff suffered head injuries and was taken by London Ambulance Service to a central London hospital. He was pronounced dead at 8.50pm.”
“A post-mortem examination will be scheduled in due course.”
Officers have appealed for anyone who may have witnessed the attack on Mr Dye to come forward.
The police spokesman added: “Officers from the Homicide & Serious Crime Command are investigating, and inquiries continue to establish the full circumstances of the incident. An incident room has opened at Hendon under A/DCI Sheila Stewart (HSCC).”
Inquiries are ongoing and anyone with information should call the incident room on 020 8358 0100 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.