Thousands of people attending Tottenham Hotspur’s Premier League match against Brighton burst into applause in the tenth minute to celebrate the life of Ali Gomez Mehmet.
The avid Spurs fan and season ticket holder lost his life after suffering a heart attack on 25 March. He was just 36 years old.
Ali’s family and friends had asked Spurs fans to pay tribute to “one of their own” with a minute’s applause in the 10th minute of Saturday’s home game against Brighton.
A flyer with Ali’s picture and details of his tragic death, along with the request to clap, had been shared on social media on Tottenham Hotspur fan pages and groups.
Prominent writers Chris Cowlin and Alasdair Gold, Martin Cloak, co-chair of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust, and Enfield Town Director Ramadan Ismail were among those to help amplify the request to tens of thousands of fans.
The call to action was heeded by those present for the match at Tottenham on Saturday, 16 April, with applause breaking out all over the stadium as the clock entered the tenth minute of the game.
Ali’s friend, actor Aziz Kemal, said the response from Spurs fans was “amazing”. Aziz, who was watching the game on television after giving his ticket to one of Ali’s relatives to attend instead, said he felt “so emotional” as he heard the clapping.
This is such sad news, and I’ve been asked to help spread the word. Thoughts with Ali’s family and friends. https://t.co/ZRMAPYnvgT
— Martin Cloake 🇺🇦 (@MartinCloake) April 16, 2022
Ali Gomez Mehmet
A popular character from Enfield who was of Turkish Cypriot heritage, Ali was in the prime of his life when he unexpectedly died last month.
The North Londoner had formerly been a manager at TGI Fridays before launching his own catering business, Quality, and Walthamstow eatery, American diner Chefzi.
He was set to wed his sweetheart this summer. It was his fiancée who made the tragic discovery, finding Ali collapsed at home in the bathroom.
Ali was an avid Spurs fan who loved football. He was a successful amateur player, helping EC Galaxy secure the title, and was a key member of London Turkish team, Yeni Bogazici. Both teams paid tribute after learning of his death.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s game, Ali’s friend Aziz told T-VINE: “Ali was a very loved and respected person in our community.”
“For me personally, Ali was one of the calmest, most professional people I’ve ever met,” Aziz continued.
“He was super hard working, and was always keen on improving himself. Over the years I’ve known him, I could see him growing as a person, genuinely a gentleman.”
Ali’s friends and family are planning to build a classroom and water well in his name as part of his legacy.
Ali’s death marks heart-breaking double tragedy for family
Heartbreakingly, this was not the first tragedy to hit Ali’s family. Nine years ago, Ali’s cousin Adem died in a road accident in North London after finishing his shift at TGI Fridays.
The two cousins had been inseparable growing up, prompting many friends of both to post on social media how they would now be reconciled in heaven.
Kevin Marshall wrote on Facebook, “You were a good genuine person bro. Passionate about the youth and doing good in the world. Thank you for supporting me, listening to me, being a friend. Tis broke me. My prayers and condolences to your family. I know Adem was waiting by heaven’s gate for you. Gonna miss you bro. Rest well bro”.
Former work colleague Katie Daly also paid tribute to Ali on Facebook, stating he brought “so much fun to TGI Fridays”, the pair sharing “great times learning along the way together progressing through our careers in management.”
“You truly were sent from heaven and touched so many people’s lives. You have gained your wings and are now reunited with Adem.”