THE three friends killed in the Forbury Gardens knife rampage were described as kind, gentle and the "loveliest" of people in the local community.

Joe Ritchie-Bennett, 39, originally from Philadelphia in the US, history teacher James Furlong, 36, and David Wails, 49, all died in the horrific attack on June 20.

Khairi Saadallah has pleaded guilty to the attacks, which also injured three other people in the park, and has today been sentenced.

ALSO READ: Forbury Gardens terror attacker sentenced for triple murder

Today we shine a light on the tribute to those who had their lives so brutally taken away in the unprovoked attack that shocked the town.

Mr Furlong was head of history, government and politics at The Holt School in Wokingham. 

He was described by co-headteachers Anne Kennedy and Katie Pearce as a "kind and gentle man" who had a "real sense of duty and cared for each and every one of our students".

VISIT: Book of condolence - tributes to James Furlong

Mr Furlong's parents Gary and Janet said in a statement shortly after his death:

"James was a wonderful man. He was beautiful, intelligent, honest and fun.

"He was the best son, brother, uncle and partner you could wish for. We are thankful for the memories he gave us all. We will never forget him and he will live in our hearts forever."

Martin Cooper, who is chief executive of LGBT+ charity Reading Pride, said Mr Furlong and Mr Ritchie-Bennett were "great supporters" and members of the community.

"Their loss is a tragedy to so many people," he said. "It was always a pleasure drinking and socialising and just being in their company."

Mr Ritchie-Bennett had moved to the UK from the US 15 years ago.

VISIT: Book of condolence - tributes to Joe Ritchie-Bennett

The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper spoke with Mr Ritchie-Bennett's father, he said: "I was absolutely blessed and proud to be Joe's father for 39 years and we are heartbroken by what has happened."

Mr Wails, who worked as a scientist, was described by his parents as a "kind and much-loved" son, brother and uncle who "never hurt anyone in his life."

They said in a statement at the time of his death: "We are broken-hearted at losing him and in such a terrible way.

VISIT: Book of condolence - tributes to David Wails

Another tribute on the Reading Chronicle's book of condolence for Mr Wails said: "A kind and gentle soul taken far too soon. One of my favourite punters quiet, but always listening. And a wicked wit! Rest easy Dave."