Unsung Hackney riots hero inspired to set up youth project

A young football coach, who rushed to help an injured 75-year-old woman while rioters threw missiles overhead, has vowed to tackle the youth violence that rocked the borough last week.

Danny Lyne, 20, had been shopping in Hackney central for the first time when he was caught up in riots in Clarence Road on Monday evening (August).

As darkness fell, he saw an elderly woman who had fractured her hip after being knocked to the ground by terrified crowds.

“I was scared,” said Danny, who lives in Jeremiah Street, Poplar.

“I tried to get out of the area but I got lost because they were closing the roads.

“There were explosions every two minutes and the shops were being looted.

“Then I saw the lady on the floor who had badly broken her leg. She was very distressed so I thought I would try to help her. As a football coach I do a lot of first aid anyway but I have never done it in that sort of situation. I called the ambulance and just sat their talking to her until they came.”

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When riot police arrived soon after and tried to move the pensioner to safety, the yobs pelted them with missiles. A large rock hit Danny in the chest.

“I just panicked. I was fine until that happened,” he said.

“I saw fireworks being thrown at police. They were swearing.”

Danny was taken alongside the 75-year-old woman to Homerton Hospital with a suspected broken rib, but escaped with severe bruising.

Now he wants to set up a youth sports project to stop the spiralling violence ever happening again.

“I think it is disgusting that people could do something like this,” he said.

“But I think it’s a good idea to get something positive out of such a bad situation.

“I want to get more kids into sports in and around London to get them off the streets and into the community. I’d like to start up a youth club where they can learn decent skills and get away from gangs. It’s just trying the find the funding for it that’s the problem.”