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Help Watford Youngster Bangura!!!

Football fans are a tribal bunch - we love our teams and love to hate others - but fans are also a part of a far wider footballing community and at certain times come together. This is such a time I think.

A young professional footballer, Alhassan 'Ally' Bangura, who has made 50 appearances for Watford, is facing deportation having been turned down for asylum and ordered to return to Sierra Leone four years after leaving.

The situation has been championed by local Labour MP Claire Ward, who addressed Watford fans this afternoon. She says that the 19-year-old's life could be in danger if he was forced to return to his home country.

She has also called on the Immigration Minister to use his discretionary powers to stop Bangura's deportation.

Watford Football Club have said on their official site:

'We would urge all supporters of Watford Football Club and Al Bangura to continue to maintain the pressure built up in the last four to five days. It is imperative that we continue to have our voice heard and ensure that Al remains an integral part of the Watford family.'

David Blunkett and Sir Elton John have both written letters to Gerry Sutcliffe, Minister in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the Professional Footballer's Association have also made representation to the minister.

Blunkett said: "Like Claire Ward MP, I am at a loss to understand why, given the circumstances of Al Bangura's presence in the country and the fact that in other circumstances and forms of employment (including under any new points system for immigration) he would have been able to apply from Sierra Leone as "highly-skilled", and of course fulfils existing rules in relation to income and contribution. However, the simple fact remains that Al Bangura came here as minor, has put his time here to good use and is a valued member of the community. On these grounds I offer my support even in circumstances where Watford are playing my home team of Sheffield Wednesday on December 22nd - and if the decision were reversed I might live to regret it!"

Bangura explained: "I came here when I was 15, with no friends or family. Everything I have now is what I've made for myself and I don't mean just my home, but my relationships." Adding "I would love to be a citizen here, if I was given the chance to be British I would take it with both hands. I know that these people are doing their jobs, but they need to look at my situation individually. I'm doing everything right. I'm here, I have my family and my job - I'm not doing anyone any harm. I'm happy to be here, I see this as my home, my country."

"People from all over the country are supporting me, English people. People from the country I want to live in and that makes me happy to know that. I'm glad they want me to be one of them as well. I want to thank them for what they've done for me. I only hope that I am able to see them soon and show my thanks to all of them. I am just praying every night that the Home Secretary will review this and allow me to stay because inside of me, I know I'm supposed to be here."

There is a petition set up by a Watford fan site, Click Here To Sign If we all spread the word and get as many family, friends and fellow fans to sign it and if the press pick up on the situation more and more, maybe the pressure will pile on the Government to reverse this decision. It costs you just one minute of your time to add your name and although think that such actions don't have an affect, there is nothing to lose in trying.


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The Journalist

Writer: Walker Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday December 16 2007

Time: 8:01PM

Your Comments

I will be signing this petition (and I HOPE that it helps!), I hope that others from Vital Blackburn (and others) will too, THOUSANDS have already.
Hughes Da Man
And if ANYONE says they WON'T because of what happened between him and Sav I will brain them!!!
Hughes Da Man
I have signed, please everyone get behind this!! Sierra Leone offers nothing for this guy's specific skills, he'll be doing the country much more good from the UK. Plus he's working and paying taxes here, everyone wins. Imagine being sent home to nothing, to the land were family and friends were executed, when you have worked so hard after being given a chance in the UK. Sign it!!
martinr
You are exactly right dude, I HOPE that this plea will be answered. If he goes back he will probably end up going the same way as his family and friends.
Hughes Da Man
I hope this decision is overturned - but there is a much bigger picture of many people being sent back to countries where their life has been put at risk, or they have escaped warfare and violence. It always amazes me that we let things go on, but when it effects our football we sit up and take notice. I think that the media in this country is really appaulling at their reporting of real life people and the pains they suffer. (Climbs down off soap box)
FreidelNo.1
Stay on that soap box dude, you've spoken A LOT of sense there dude (you should run for PM lol!)
Hughes Da Man
Thanks HDM, I can count on your vote... I'm too left wing for my own good though!
FreidelNo.1
Yeah dude, you have my vote (and probably EVER other Vital Blackburn members lol!)
Hughes Da Man
 

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