Trevor Belle, 61, died in the Royal London Hospital on April 18, having tested positive for COVID-19. His friend Damian Briggs said that several weeks earlier, the east Londoner had been spat at by a passenger who owed him £9.
After the incident in Stratford on March 22, Mr Belle began to feel unwell with symptoms of coronavirus.
Mr Briggs said: “A few days later he got rushed into hospital, he spent three weeks battling it and unfortunately didn’t make it to the end.”
Mr Belle, who had just become a grandfather, died three days after his 61st birthday.
His friend said: “It’s devastating that he’s caught it doing his job.”
After his death, Mr Belle’s blood was donated to research into the effects of COVID-19 in people from BAME communities, Mr Briggs said, as he paid tribute to his “die-hard Arsenal supporter” friend.
He described them as “not blood brothers, but we are brothers”.
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