Watford's Bangura granted permission to stay

Society Materials 15 January 2008 01:50 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Watford winger Al Bangura will not be deported after being granted a work permit Monday.

The 19-year-old, who came to Britain illegally, had been refused permission to stay by a tribunal last month, and looked like being sent back to Sierra Leone.

The club appealed on his behalf and, after a meeting with Home Office minister Liam Byrne, were advised to apply for the work permit.

"We always knew that we had a strong case and, despite our setbacks, we knew we had to fight for what we believed to be right for this young man," Watford chairman Graham Simpson told the club's official website.

"Al will now continue to contribute to our society which I know he feels a debt of gratitude towards," Simpson said.

"I would like to personally thank all the Watford fans whose backing of Al has been so crucial to moving this forward and securing his immediate future in the UK."

Watford will continue their fight so that Bangura can remain beyond the term of his work permit. He claimed he faced possible murder by members of a religious organization his father had been part of.