Global News

Somali basketball star, 54, dies of coronavirus in London hospital

Bana Ali, 54, was a Transport for London engineer and spent nearly a month in intensive care at the Royal Free Hospital before passing away on April 28.

by BBC May 5th 2020 · 1 min read
Somali basketball star, 54, dies of coronavirus in London hospital

A former Somali basketball player turned engineer has become one of the latest London transport workers to die with Covid-19.

Bana Ali, 54, died on 28 April after almost a month fighting for his life in intensive care at the Royal Free Hospital.

Friends said Mr Ali played as a forward for several basketball teams in his home city of Mogadishu and was part of the Somali national team before moving to London in 1990 to study electronic engineering.

Latest figures show 41 TfL workers, including 31 bus drivers, have died with Covid-19.

Mr Ali leaves behind four children and his wife Muna Harad, who also lost her father and uncle to the virus last month.

She said today: “Bana was not only a legend for sports but also a great human being with a huge heart who supported and cared deeply about others.

"I have not only lost a loving father and husband but a generous and exceptional human who was the backbone of my family and I will continue living for him, keeping his memory and legacy alive. I will remember him forever.”

Mr Ali moved to Europe in the late eighties, escaping increasing political tensions that led to civil war breaking out in the country in 1991.

After graduating from Middlesex University, he joined TfL where he worked for 23 years in a team overseeing London Underground projects.

last updated: 2020-05-05@21:05