Morecambe players are still planning to pay their tribute to Christian Mbulu
Morecambe players still plan to honour team-mate Christian Mbulu with a run in his memory.
Players and staff at the club had been due to take part in a 34K run, walk or cycle event today to raise funds for the family of Mbulu, who died last month at the age of 23.
It had been planned that participants would be running in groups of no more than six, while respecting the two-metre rule on social distancing.
However, it was called off earlier this week with the club’s players having to take into account the present rules on social distancing and gatherings.
As Alex Kenyon revealed though, he and some of his team-mates will be running in Chorley to remember their team-mate.
“We’re still going to do a run but at home instead,” said the Shrimps’ midfielder.
“There’ll be myself, Luke Conlan, and, I think, Aaron Wildig and Rhys Oates are coming to Chorley as well.
“We’d wanted it to take place from the club so it would be more of a tribute, so it’s frustrating because we said we’d do the two-metre rule – and we just wanted to do something to honour our friend.”
Kenyon’s seven-year stint with the Shrimps has seen financial and ownership issues, as well as battles to stay in the EFL.
Nevertheless, as he admitted, the death of a team-mate was something new entirely.
“It was very surreal to be honest with what actually happened,” he said.
“I got a phone call from his cousin who just told me down the phone.
“I couldn’t believe it, it took me completely by surprise, but he said it was okay if I wanted to let the club know. I spoke to the manager (Derek Adams) and let him know but, for me, it was very strange – I didn’t know what to say or how to word things.
“His cousin told me to let the lads know who were on our group chat but I was sat there for a couple of hours thinking, ‘How do I do this?’
“It was strange but it’s just a sad situation. We don’t know how it’s happened, we just know how old he is and stuff like that.”
Morecambe’s players have not met up as one since football went into shutdown three months ago.
Instead, virtual conversations have been the method used to stay in touch, which at least allowed them to share their memories of Mbulu.
“It’s been good to chat to the lads because it obviously wasn’t nice finding out,” said Kenyon.
“We’ve been speaking to other people who knew Christian because, although you speak to your family, they didn’t know him.
“The players had been having Zoom quizzes and things like that so we all got in touch when we found out about Christian and had a little drink in his memory.”