Video resurfaces of busker on mobility scooter, 87, playing outside Tesco before stabbing

A video has resurfaced of an elderly busker playing an old Irish tune just weeks before he was stabbed to death.

Thomas O’Halloran, 87, died at the scene of the attack in Greenford, west London, on Tuesday afternoon.

The grandfather – who often played his accordion in the area and had been raising money for Ukraine – was riding home on his mobility scooter at the time.

It comes after detectives released an image of a man seen running from scene in Runnymede Gardens, at the junction with Cayton Road.

As tributes flooded in today, a clip shot by fellow musician Kieran McKenna and posted on Facebook in June was re-shared.

It shows Thomas playing Boolavogue, an Irish ballad from 1898, outside the Tesco Superstore in Perivale Lane, near to where he was killed along the A40.

Kieran told The Mirror he’d met him by chance as he busked on June 16, and they’d got chatting after Thomas spotted his Irish football shirt.

The 31-year-old, who plays in a London-based Irish band called The Reels, said he was “very quiet and doing what he loved best”, adding: “You could tell he had a heart of gold.”

He said: “He would always be around Greenford Station or that Tesco.

“I would often see him there and was just chatting to him for a bit.

“I live in Harrow, not too far away, and my girlfriend works just around the corner. I was going to meet her.

“It was a nice hot day and I was actually wearing an Irish top and he spotted me and we just got to talking about music and stuff.”

Kieran added: “I asked him how old he was and I couldn’t believe his age, and he was raising money for Ukraine. I asked if I could get a video and he was more than happy.

“He was from a place called Ennistymon in County Clare.

“He loved playing, he played the accordion and mouth organ as well.”

Kieran said hearing of his passing was “absolutely crazy, words can’t even describe… an 87-year-old man going about doing what he loves”.

“In the video, the little smile he has at the end. He just loved what he was doing.”

He said they ended up speaking for at least 15 minutes “which is unusual, to stop and speak to someone at random in public in this day and age”.

“In the 15 minutes, you could tell he had a heart of gold. He was just there, playing away.”

Kieran said from reading the tributes left to Thomas online, “it seemed like everyone knew him, or knew people who knew him”.

“He wasn’t just a random busker that you’d see in the middle of London.

“He’s not your typical busker, that’s what made him stand out being the age he was, I couldn’t believe the age he was.”

Thomas was playing Irish tunes and he and Kieran “reminisced about old songs” and then he agreed to do a rendition on camera.

The clip shows his mobility scooter with a Ukraine flag and a basket at the front where he collected donations.

In CCTV footage released today, Thomas was seen slumped in his scooter as panicked members of the public tried to help him.

Police believe Thomas was stabbed in Western Avenue, shortly after 4pm, before managing to travel around 75 yards on his mobility scooter to Runnymede Gardens where he flagged down a member of public for help.