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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 August 2006, 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK
Profile: Damilola Taylor
The death of the 10-year-old schoolboy Damilola Taylor, who died in London just months after coming to Britain from Nigeria, shocked the nation.

Damilola Taylor
Damilola wanted to be a doctor

Oluwadamilola Taylor hopped playfully to his local library after school without a care in the world on 27 November 2000, unaware the day would be his last.

Known to all as Damilola, he was just 10 days short of his 11th birthday when he died.

Born and brought up in Lagos, Nigeria, he had come to Britain three months earlier with his mother Gloria, elder sister Bemi and elder brother Tunde.

Damilola's father Richard had to stay behind in Lagos because of his work.

Gloria and Richard Taylor had met and married in Britain in 1977, but left for West Africa in 1982. They returned to England in 2000 to get better treatment for Bemi, who suffered from a severe form of epilepsy.

Big ideas

Soon after arriving, she became ill and was admitted to King's College Hospital. The family stayed in London with a relative on a north Peckham estate, so Bemi could continue receiving treatment.

I want to be the very best
Damilola Taylor

Damilola, who said his ambition was to become a doctor to cure his sister's illness, was enrolled at Oliver Goldsmith Primary School in Camberwell.

He made good progress in class and was well-liked - teachers saying he was "always smiling and seemed to be bouncing along when he walked".

But he soon began to complain to his mother that he was being bullied.

He registered with the computer club at the Peckham library and would go there most days straight after school.

Taylor family
Damilola's family were joined by about 300 mourners at his funeral

A committed Christian and keen to learn, he became fascinated by the world wide web and began to develop many big ideas for the future.

A plaque unveiled a year after his death carried some of the last words he had written, revealing the extent of his ambition.

"I will travel far and wide to choose my destiny and remould the world, I know it is my destiny to defend the world, which I hope to achieve during my lifetime," the plaque reads.

'Deeply touched'

Both British and Nigerian people were shocked by his untimely death.

Hundreds of mourners attended his funeral, including former Wimbledon footballer John Fashanu, the Nigerian player Kanu and Paul Boateng, a Home Office minister at the time.

Prince Bola Ajibola, who was then the Nigerian High Commissioner, read an address from the Federal Government of Nigeria at the funeral saying his people had been "deeply touched" by the little boy's death.

Damilola's parents set up the Damilola Taylor Trust on the first anniversary of his death to give "life, opportunity and hope" to Britain's "downtrodden and underprivileged youth".

Footballer Rio Ferdinand who now plays for Damilola's favourite club, Manchester United, was involved in setting up the trust.

Five years on, the trust continues to work with young people all over the country, alongside a foundation named in his honour in Nigeria.




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