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Rooney's gift to grieving family of knife victim

THE family of Warren O'Connor -- stabbed to death after helping pals flee a noisy house party in north Dublin -- have received a heartwarming gift from his Manchester Utd hero Wayne Rooney.

Mr O'Connor was stabbed once in the chest after being called to an apartment block of the Grattan Wood complex in Donaghmede early on January 16.

A friend of his, who owns one of the apartments in the complex, had called on Mr O'Connor after the man's pregnant partner and their child were being disturbed by a loud party in an apartment above them.

After an initial confrontation, Mr O'Connor and his friends decided to leave the complex, but they were followed by another car which rammed Mr O'Connor's not far away.


It was at this point Mr O'Connor got out and was attacked on the roadway.

He was stabbed once in the chest and died shortly afterwards despite the efforts of his friends to save him.

Mr O'Connor's pregnant friend later gave birth to a girl. The parents gave her Warren as her second name.

Today Mr O'Connor's family revealed that Rooney sent them a signed shirt and a card of support as they came to grips with losing their son and brother.

"It was a beautiful gesture. Warren was a huge fan of Wayne's," his mother Tina told the Herald as she showed the gifts.

The shirt and card are both signed by the star footballer, along with a message of sympathy.

"Warren was a big Manchester United fan ever since he was five years old," Tina explained.

At Mr O'Connor's funeral, Fr Terry Murray told the mourners that Rooney had phoned him before the Mass to express his sympathy, and to ensure that a letter was on the way.

But the family were stunned when the shirt arrived as well.

"They are signed in his own handwriting, it is not just a stamp from the club or anything, and we are very thankful to Wayne for doing what he did for us and for Warren," Tina explained.

Nobody has been arrested or charged for the killing, but gardai are following a definite line of inquiry.

"We would really like to see somebody charged eventually, and we know the gardai are doing everything they can," said Tina.

"We still can't believe Warren is gone, and we feel it every day. We are still trying to get used to the shock."