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Page last updated at 18:01 GMT, Thursday, 24 July 2008 19:01 UK

Obafemi Martins mourns mother

Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sport, Lagos

Obafemi Martins
Martins joined Newcastle from Inter Milan for 10m two years ago

Newcastle striker Obafemi Martins has been allowed to return to Lagos on compassionate grounds following the death of his mother.

Alhaja Monsurat Martins died in the early hours of Thursday.

"Akin [Obafemi] was very close to his mother," a family member told BBC Sport in Lagos.

Alhaja Martins, 62, will be buried on Friday and the England-based player will attend the prayer and burial ceremony.

The 23-year-old has been withdrawn from Newcastle's squad for Saturday's friendly trip to Doncaster and could miss next week's Mallorca Summer Cup matches against Hertha Berlin and Real Mallorca.

A Magpies spokesman said: "Oba has flown back to Nigeria on compassionate grounds to be with his family at what is a very sad time for them.

"Everyone at the club extends their greatest sympathies to Oba and his relatives."

see also
Martins escapes Nigerian rap
31 May 08 |  African
Keegan hails African presence
08 Apr 08 |  African

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