Watford midfielder Al Bangura faces deportation back to his native Sierra Leone after losing his case to stay in the UK at an Asylum and Immigration Tribunal hearing earlier this week.
Watford manager Aidy Boothroyd said: ‘We have one young man here [he’s 19] who pays his taxes, has a fiancÃ©e and a newborn son and somebody, somewhere, thinks it’s a good decision to send him back to Sierra Leone. We’ve been sent a document with the reasons why he’s being deported and they are ridiculous.’
Pies agrees, 100%.
Bangura’s story is one dominated by tragedy and hardship. He left Africa four years ago due to the civil war in Sierra Leone, in which his father was stabbed to death. He was then groomed as a male prostitute when he first came to the UK, via Guinea and France, but managed to escape and claim asylum. If Bangura is deported he will lose everything he has â€“ not to mention the fact that his life will be in danger, possibly from the men who killed his father.
Watford’s players plan to wear special T-shirts highlighting Bangura’s situation at this Saturday’s home match against Plymouth Argyle.
Bangura was first spotted by Watford scouts when he played for a youth side in Chertsey and he signed for the club’s academy, making his first-team debut in April 2005. Since then has racked up more than 50 appearances, been voted the club’s Young Player of the Year, and earlier this season he wore the captain’s armband.
In other words, he is a very talented young man making a new life for himself and his young family in Britain. It would be plain wrong to kick him out. Pies can’t do very much to help Bangura win his appeal, but together we can help raise the profile of this case, and so I direct you to this online petition, which already has more than 3,500 signatures. Please take two minutes to sign it too. Thanks for listening.
May I also point you in the direction of the following Bangura links:
Blind, Stupid and Desperate