Bristol stabbing: Football coach says teenage victim’s death is a 'punch in the gut'

  • Watch members of the Knowle West community speak to ITV News' Max Walsh

The chairman of a football club attended by one of the teenage victims in an attack in Bristol says his death is a "punch in the gut".

Max Dixon, 16, and Mason Rist, 15, were killed on Saturday 27 January following being attacked shortly after 11pm in Ilminster Avenue in Knowle West.

A 26-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender on Tuesday 30 January - joining three other men in custody on suspicion of murder - while a 15-year-old also arrested on suspicion of murder has been released on conditional bail.

Max was a keen footballer at Park Knowle FC and today its chairman, Mike Alden, spoke fondly of a talented player who was hugely popular.

Tributes have been paid to the teenagers who were both big football fans Credit: ITV News

Mike said: "He was always laughing and joking and smiling.

"I don’t think I’ve ever seen him have a day without a smile on his face.

"He never had a bad bone in his body so everybody who knew Max, liked Max.

"From the day he was born he’s been known to people in the club so it is a real punch in the gut, it’s horrible.

"I can’t put into words the pain everybody’s feeling."

Mason was a huge Liverpool fan and on Monday, his grandmother, Gail Iles, paid tribute to a "quiet, caring boy."

Tributes have been laid in Knowle West since Saturday 27 January when the teenagers were killed Credit: ITV News

She said: "He was lovely, he was just a typical bubbly teenager and he didn’t go out a lot.

"He stayed at home a lot on his computer like kids do and he’s a big Liverpool supporter."

Across Bristol, boxing charity Empire Fighting Chance helps support thousands of youngsters in the city.

Courtney Young, a member of the club, says it's seen a rise in knife crime.

He said: "This has become the natural order of things at the moment that young people carry knives because they’re too frightened to be caught without one.

"All we can do is give that sort of education behind what the consequences of carrying a knife are."

Matt Webster, also at Empire Fighting Club, said: "People are quite reluctant to talk about this but a lot of this is down to fear. Fear of being caught without something."

Speaking on Monday 29 January, the Labour MP for Bristol South, Karin Smyth, said she wants to see more funding and resource for this type of youth work in the area

She said: "There is a sense of enormous frustration that resources have been taken out of the community.

"The police are really stretched, the youth workers that they’ve lost - that was support from the council when the councillors lost so much money from the Government.

"That’s very much the message that I take back to Westminster when I go back for them."

Avon and Somerset Police says it has already seized more than 250 exhibits in connection with this case, searched a number of properties and are reviewing hundreds of hours of CCTV footage.