Former England mascot stabbed to death

BY foxsports • July 13, 2011

A British teenager who police say was stabbed to death Wednesday during an incident involving two Greek taxi drivers on the island of Zakynthos was a former England soccer mascot who once posed for photographs next to David Beckham before a game against Brazil.

Robert Sebbage, 18, died in the early hours of Wednesday after the incident in the resort of Lagana. The two Greek drivers have been arrested and detained, local police said.

Four other Britons who were injured during the incident are being treated in the hospital for injuries that are not life-threatening, The (London) Times reported.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has confirmed that it is assisting the families of the victims.

One Greek news website said Sebbage had been with friends outside a nightclub when an argument started with the taxi drivers. Local witnesses suggested that the two drivers became angry when the British tourists refused to stop flashing laser torches at them as the men parked outside a restaurant on a break.

"One of them, the 21-year-old, took out a jackknife and started stabbing them," a senior police official in Athens told Sky News of the suspects. "They both fled the scene but were later pursued and arrested by local police."

The knife, tossed in the sea by the assailant, was found by state divers.

The 21-year-old is facing a murder charge and his 25-year-old colleague is charged with complicity to commit murder.

In 2007, Sebbage, from Tadley, near Basingstoke, Hampshire, was chosen to be a mascot for the England soccer team in a friendly game against Brazil at the new Wembley Stadium in London and posed for photos next to Beckham.

Aged 14 at the time, he was picked by the Rays of Sunshine charity because he suffered from a bowel disorder called Eosinophilic colitis and gut dysmotility. The condition meant he had to spend much of his life with horrendous stomach pains and feeling sick — and led to him having part of his intestine removed.

Zakynthos — also known as Zante — is the third largest of the Ionian Islands off the west coast of Greece and is known as a popular tourist spot.