Married family man and amateur cricketer Khuram Javed, 31, of Sheffield, was killed in the city earlier this month, leaving his family devastated and the local community in shock.
Mr Javed’s father, Javed Khan, 60, described his eldest son simply as his “friend”. He wept as he recalled his son inheriting his love of cricket from the age of five when he was old enough to pick up a bat.
Mr Khan said that among the dozens of messages he had received from people around the world was a text sent by Joe Root who spoke of his sadness at Mr Javed’s untimely death because the pair had played in the same team in their teenage years at Sheffield Collegiate Cricket Club.
“I did everything with my sons, and Khuram and his brother Zabe inherited my love of cricket and football. He was a big Arsenal fan and he played cricket for two teams. He was my friend as well as my son,” said Mr Khan. “I’ve not only lost my son, I’ve lost my friend.”
Described by friends and relatives as a “devoted husband, hard-working professional, father and family man”, Mr Javed was a solicitor at a Sheffield law firm where he had worked for four years.
His cousin Haroon Tariq, 42, said: “It has not really sunk in – it’s just a massive, massive shock at the moment. We just keep thinking he’s going to walk around the corner.
“The immediate family are in shock but the whole community is devastated by this tragedy. It’s a very difficult time for everybody.”
Mr Javed and his wife Sana Munir, 33, have a son, Mustafa Javed, aged 18 months, and a daughter Ava Noor, three.
Mrs Munir said: “He was the light of our family. His cheeky smile lit up the room and he was the most loving, amazing person and such a wonderful dad.
“He worked hard but he fitted his hours around his family. He was a good, hardworking man and he didn’t deserve the death that he suffered.
“He was the best of the best. One minute I can’t believe what has happened, then I get emotional and then angry and the anger boils over.
“The children are too young to understand what has happened but my daughter has been picking flowers for Daddy and drawing pictures for him in heaven.”
Mr Tariq said Khuram, who played cricket for Totley Bent Cricket Club and Sunday Asian league team Kashmir Cricket Club, was a ‘gym fanatic’.
He said his cousin had worked hard to put himself through a law degree at Sheffield Hallam University and a post-graduate legal practice course at the University of Sheffield. He had started as a paralegal and had worked for the Home Office and Thompsons Solicitors as a legal executive joining Alison Law solicitors in 2017.
He said: “He was like a brother to me. We lived together for six years and he was my best friend.
“He was an ambitious young man, hard-working, with a good head on his shoulders, he was a responsible lad and he was my uncle’s backbone.
“He had ambitions and things that he wanted to do. He had his whole life ahead of him, a young family. It’s so sad, we are devastated - this was his time to blossom.”
Mr Tariq said Khuram has a younger brother Zabe Javed, aged 30, and two sisters Neelam, a teacher, aged 32, and Mayha, aged 22, a university student.
His father moved to the UK from Pakistan with his parents in the early 1970s and has lived in the city ever since.
Mr Khan said his wife, Khuram’s mother Saieeda Begum, 58, was ‘devastated’ and had not been able to come to terms with their eldest son’s death. Mr Tariq said Khuram, his wife and their children lived at the family home with his parents, and they’d become even closer during lockdown, spending more time together like all families.
He said Khuram had been looking forward to lockdown lifting and the cricket season starting and was determined this year to win the local Asian Sunday league Allama Iqbal.
He said on the day of his death he had been due to travel to Leeds for a pre-season warm up match which was cancelled when one of the players tested positive for coronavirus.
Mr Tariq said the family had no idea why Mr Javed had been shot, adding: “He was a hard-working, law abiding citizen. Nobody is sure what happened and we are leaving it in police hands.
“We don’t know who the perpetrator is, we just want justice for Khuram and his family.”
Mr Tariq said the night he was shot, Khuram was planning to drive to Bradford with his friends and go for a takeaway.
He said: “Somebody saw all the commotion at the scene and we heard through phone calls Khuram had been injured. There were lots of rumours on social media and people started contacting the family and then everyone started gathering in the area.”
Mr Tariq said Khuram was immensely popular and the family had been sent condolences by mourners from all over the UK and as far away as Pakistan, adding: “We didn’t know how much he meant to people. We’ve been told so many nice stories about him and the kind things he did for them.”
He added: “He wasn’t a gang-related person or into violence. He was a devoted father and family man and he didn’t deserve the death he got.”
Khuram’s friend Farrakh Khan said he was a role model and mentor to law students and had offered him a helping hand on the career ladder.
“He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he added.
Two men aged 21 and 23 were arrested on suspicion of murder and police inquiries continue.
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