A hero Brit who helped bring down a knifeman in Sydney is a Muay Thai boxing champion it has emerged.
Luke O’Shaughnessy, 30, rushed to help along with brother Paul – a former footballer – and pal Lee Cuthbert when the attack happened on Tuesday.
The trio wrestled the man, identified as 21-year-old suspect Mert Ney, to the ground as he rampaged through the centre of the Australian city, reportedly shouting “Allahu Akbar”.
Tragically a 24-year-old woman, Michaela Dunn, died as a result of her injuries, and authorities said many more could have been killed if the attacker had not been stopped sooner.
All three men, from Manchester, modestly denied being heroes.
Champion boxer Luke said: “I just wanted to make sure he couldn’t hurt anyone else.
“We’ve talked before about what we would do when we hear about these things happening around the world.
“We’re the kind of guys who ask questions later and act on insinct.”
Police were called to the scene at around 2pm local time to reports of a man walking along the street armed with a knife.
A woman was found dead with her throat slashed near the scene.
Describing what happened Paul, who played for Bury between 1999 and 2004, said: “It’s almost like we’ve actually talked about it, like we’ve said ‘hopefully we are around because if it’s somebody with a knife and not a gun then we’re quite physical lads’.
“He (Luke) said ‘I’d sort it out’ and I’ve said ‘Yeah, I would’. So it was almost instinctively around that to go ‘Right, well let’s sort it out’.
“I didn’t even think about – and no disrespect to them – my young family.
“I just thought ‘Is my brother going to be alright?’ as we were running towards him.
“Luke’s straight in there on top of him and I’m looking at the scene going ‘there’s a big knife there which is covered in blood’.
“Luke, in fairness, did not let him go, he didn’t let go of the guy until he was fully cuffed and they’d picked him up.
“He’s really heroic to me in my eyes, he’s my brother.”
Paul told 9News they had chased the attacker for a while before pinning him down.
“I think he had a balaclava on, jumped on the car, wielding a knife with blood on it, and we’re like ‘wow, what is going on here?’,” he said.