Tributes have been pouring in on social media after tragic confirmation of the death of 23-year-old Morecambe defender, Christian Mbulu.
The English footballer’s League Two club confirmed news of the youngster’s passing, leaving the football community devastated.
Having started his career with non-league Brentwood, the centre-back joined Millwall and had a loan spell at Braintree before joining Scottish Premiership side Motherwell.
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Mbulu made seven appearances for Crewe after signing a short-term deal in October and signed for fellow League Two side Morecambe in January until the end of the season, making three appearances.
In a statement on Tuesday evening, the club said: "Everyone at Morecambe FC is deeply saddened to learn of Christian's death and would like to extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends at this very sad time.
"He was only 23 and the news of his sudden and untimely passing has been a shock to us all.
"Christian came to the club in January and proved to be an extremely popular member of the squad. His loss will be painfully felt by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.”
Everyone at Morecambe FC is deeply saddened to learn of Christian Mbulu’s death and would like to extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends at this very sad time.— Morecambe FC (@ShrimpsOfficial) May 26, 2020
Tributes flow after death of Christian Mbulu
Crewe expressed their shock and sadness at the sudden death of Mbulu, who they said will be "sorely missed because he was a top bloke, who had a real love for the game".
Motherwell chairman Jim McMahon echoed those sentiments about their former player.
"We are shocked to hear of the news of Christian's death," he said. "He was such a friendly, pleasant young man who we loved having around Fir Park."
The Professional Footballers' Association added on Twitter: "Our thoughts are with Christian Mbulu's family and friends at this very sad time."
Several other clubs shared their condolences to the player’s family and friends, with fans struggling to come to terms with the devastating news.
We are so sorry to hear this.— Plymouth Argyle FC (@🏡) (@Only1Argyle) May 26, 2020
Thoughts and sympathies are extended to Morecambe and Christian's family from all associated with #pafc. 💚
Our thoughts and condolences are with everyone at Morecambe following this tragic news, and Christian’s family and friends.— Coventry City (@Coventry_City) May 26, 2020
So sorry to hear this. We are sending our thoughts to you and Christian’s friends and family during this tragic time.— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 26, 2020
That's awful RIP from a Peterborough United fan— Frank O'Sullivan (@Frankosullivan) May 26, 2020
Rest in Peace mate ❤— Liam Waleczek (@leicesterliam) May 26, 2020
Bloody hell, 23? 😔— the boy Jones (@jonaspablo45) May 26, 2020
Condolences to his family and friends such sad news rip 💙💛🤍— borislufc (@JohnBorislufc) May 26, 2020
RIP 💔. Thoughts to the club and family at this sad time :(— Shaughn ⚧🏳️🌈 (at🏡) (@clupidbloropope) May 26, 2020
tragically young. RIP— Paul Ashley (@PaulAshley1979) May 26, 2020
Devastating news. So young. Rest in peace Christian. Thoughts to all his family and friends— Justin Collings (@justinjccolling) May 26, 2020
How sad, that’s no age for a lad to be dying. 😢— Jim Stewart (@realjimstewart) May 26, 2020
Christian Mbulu.. one of the most clean hearted guys i have ever met in football, who then turned into an older brother figure for me.. I love you bro and I pray for your family and the people close to you during this time❤️ rest in paradise Chris💕 pic.twitter.com/ligKgTuYjW— Johnson 23 (@__tj2) May 26, 2020
with Yahoo Sport staff