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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 December 2007, 17:37 GMT
Watford fans hold Bangura protest
Watford fans hold posters of Al Bangura
Watford fans were given posters of Bangura to hold aloft
Watford fans have offered a show of support to Al Bangura, who is facing deportation back to Sierra Leone.

They staged a half-time protest during the club's game against Plymouth Argyle at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

They held up posters on which the 19-year-old's face appearing under the words "He's family".

Bangura's lawyers have lodged an appeal to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith after he lost his case to stay in the UK at a deportation hearing on Tuesday.

Over 18,000 home and away fans gave their backing to Bangura, who was moved to tears when posters were held aloft during the interval in the 1-0 home defeat.

He was accompanied on the pitch by local Labour MP Claire Ward, who told fans they can support Bangura by signing a petition via the club's website.

"Al is humbled by the support from our own fans and the Plymouth fans," said Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd.

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"The appeal has gone in and we are waiting to hear now. We are just trying to raise as much awareness as possible for it and hopefully we will get some sensible decision."

Bangura, who arrived in Britain four years ago from his war-torn African homeland, is also being backed by the English and world players' unions, former Home Secretary David Blunkett and Watford's honorary life president Elton John.

"I am praying every night that the home secretary will review this and allow me to stay," he said.

"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," said Bangura, who has not played for Watford since August because of an ankle injury.

"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."



SEE ALSO
Bangura backed by players' union
12 Dec 07 |  Watford
Country profile: Sierra Leone
18 Sep 07 |  Country profiles
Bangura pens new Watford deal
19 May 07 |  African
Watford pair sign extended deals
20 Jul 06 |  Watford


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