Volunteers Week: Mel & Grace
Posted: Monday, June 1st 2020
Thursday, December 5th 2019
Bristol City are continuing to send their love and support to Benik Afobe and his family.
City’s players were told of the devastating loss of two-year-old Amora Afobe immediately after the victory over Huddersfield Town.
And in the days that have followed, the squad have sent their private messages of support to Benik and his wife Lois, while Head Coach Johnson and Assistant Head Coach Dean Holden visited the family in Kent on Tuesday.
“After the victory there were mixed emotions,” said Johnson. “There was the joy and the elation of a fantastic game and then obviously the sorrow and the sadness for the Afobe family.
“It does put football into perspective and we will continue to support Benik and his family.
"Obviously, we have a lot of love for them. The squad understandably took it really badly, the feeling that they have for Benik and his family. All we can do is show our support. Me and Dean drove to Kent yesterday and we sat with Benik and his family, really to show that support and be there for them for anything that they want.”
Johnson found out the sad news on Friday and chose not to tell the squad reflecting: “It was difficult. I couldn't have played. I'm telling you now. I was in tears - me and my wife - when we found out the news, and to go from that position to then go and play a game of football is nigh-on impossible.
“So I had to take the decision to keep that to myself and my immediate staff knowing that directly after the game that I had to give the horrendous news. I do think in one sense that the performance was a nice tribute.
“Certainly there were a couple of players who knew - you saw the way that Ash celebrated his goal. And Kasey Palmer knew so I asked them to keep it quiet and then we delivered the news in the dressing room.
“And let me tell you that was a sombre, sad dressing room because there's so much love for the family.”
City have been preparing to take on Fulham and Johnson added: “The boys have got the balance between showing their love to the Afobe family but continuing to work hard and concentrate on their football. We have football matches to win. Benik knows that and he wants that and we will fight in his honour and the family’s honour to keep trying to get victories.
"We are here to support them and not to overcrowd them in anything they need. Benik is on loan and it's a difficult situation in terms of his injury and his logistics but we're here for them.”
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