Second year named as Tunisia attack victim
Joel Richards died along with his uncle
A second year has been confirmed as the third British victim of Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia.
Worcester student Joel Richards, 19, was killed along with his uncle Adrian Evans and grandfather Patrick Evans when a gunman opened fire on tourists in Sousse.
He was from Wednesbury in the Black Country and was a talented footballer who also refereed matches locally.
Tributes have poured in on social media, describing him as “one of the best guys I’ve ever known” and “such a nice bloke”.
15 Britons were killed in the attack, with the Foreign Office warning the toll could rise further.
Joel started at Worcester Uni in 2013 and was due to graduate next year.
An avid Walsall FC fan, Joel was named as one of 15 British victims of the terrorist attack, with Tunisia’s Foreign Minister Tobias Ellwood warning the death toll was likely to rise.
The attack is the most brutal on British people by terrorists since the 2005 London bombings.
Walsall FC released a statement on the death of the pair. It said: “Many supporters contacting club stating that Tunisian Terror victims, Adrian Evans and Joel Richards, supported Saddlers. Devastating news.”
In a statement, Birmingham County FA, who Joel refereed for, said: “Joel was an active member of the Birmingham County FA youth council.
“A young talented referee with the world at his feet, he was highly thought of and will be sadly missed.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time.”
In a snap posted on his uncle Adrian Evans’ Facebook page, the teenager is smiling as he stands next to the former ref, who officiated the 2010 World Cup final, with his brother Owen.
Paying tribute to the teenager on Facebook, Tom Bowkett, 25, who is an FA referee and a referee tutor, said: “It took a lot of thought about whether to write this and it is something you hope you never have to write but I owe it to you to try and keep everyone smiling.
“I never ever saw you without a smile on your face and that’s what I’ll remember.
“Words can not quite sum up this moment but it was a true pleasure knowing you and working with you.
“The word devastated is used far too often but that’s exactly how I feel as do many others.
“This shows exactly how important you were to so many people.
“Taken far too soon and a huge loss but you will never be forgotten.”
The University of Worcester also paid tribute to tragic student Joel Richards yesterday (Sun).
In a statement, the university’s vice chancellor and chief executive said: “It is with enormous sadness that we have learned, through media reports, of the murder of our student Joel Richards in the terrible terrorist attack in Tunisia.
“Our whole university community has been shocked by these tragic reports.
“At Worcester Joel has shown himself to be a highly intelligent, talented young man and an all-round outstanding person with a truly bright future ahead.
“Since joining the University, he has become popular with his fellow students, team mates and with the many staff that have taught him throughout his time with us.
“Joel will be deeply missed by us all and on behalf of the University of Worcester I would like to extend the most heartfelt sympathy to Joel’s family and friends.
“Our thoughts are with them and with all the other victims of this horrific attack and their families and loved ones.”
Walsall Football Club, who the family supported, have invited mourners to bring scarves to lay at their ground today (Mon).
The League One club tweeted: “Many supporters contacting (the) club stating that Tunisian terror victims Adrian Evans and Joel Richards supported Saddlers. Devastating news.
“Our thoughts are with Adrian and Joel’s family and friends.
“Those wishing to lay scarves at (the) stadium from Monday can do so outside (the) main reception.”
Championside side Wolverhampton Wanderers also tweeted: “Thoughts are with those affected by the terrible events in Tunisia.
“Joel was an aspiring young referee who officiated at many Wolves’ girls games and last year’s Community Cup.
“A great guy who will be sadly missed.”
Earlier today, The Tab revealed how a 19-year-old girl was FaceTiming her terrified friend as the Tunisian tourist massacre unfolded yesterday.
Anna Nicole Thompson from Kent was video chatting with Billie Beresford, 18.
Office worker Anna heard gunshots and the sobs of crying holidaymakers as an ISIS gunman opened fire at the five star beach hotel in Sousse, stalking his way between the sun-loungers.
In an exclusive interview, Anna told The Tab how she heard chilling sounds from the Imperial Marhaba Hotel as a bloodthirsty Tunisian terrorist coldly shot dozens on the beach.
Anna said: “She told me there was a shooting, and I was just laughing –– I thought it was a joke.
“I heard her sister Lauren crying and she said someone’s been shot on the beach.
“Then she went on the balcony of her hotel, but I was shouting at her –– telling her to get off.
“Next thing I hear a massive gunshot and loads of people shouting.
“My heart stopped, I was just like, ‘oh fuck’.
“Billie wasn’t on the beach but it sounded like she’d put her phone next to a door and slammed it.”
The Home Office have confirmed at least 15 Brits have been killed in the attack but this number is expected to rise –– the total now stands at 38 dead.
Aviation student Seifeddine Rezgui, 23, was behind the shooting on Friday, which targeted tourists at the five star beach hotel.
The lone shooter fired his Kalashnikov at terrified holidaymakers, killing indiscriminately before he was shot dead in an exchange of gunfire with police.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Travel companies are flying tourists home and have cancelled all flights to Tunisia for the next week.