Gabriel Zakuani: Footballer ‘grateful’ after missing son is found

The Gillingham FC defender, who plays in English football’s third tier, had posted a social message media appealing for help when his 11-year-old son went missing on Wednesday after failing to return from his London-based school.

As well as Zakuani’s social media plea going viral, his former clubs and the wider football community joined the appeal.

“Seriously can’t thank you all enough!” tweeted Zakuani, who made 29 appearances for Democratic Republic of Congo before retiring in 2018.

“I’m relieved he’s been found in London. Seriously hope I never go through that again! Once again, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart I’m so grateful.”

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Surrey Police had launched an official appeal over the disappearance of Ajae Blackwood-Petrie and the child was found at an address in the Isle of Dogs area of London on Thursday — shortly after the appeal went public.

Lazio fans hang pro-Mussolini banner and make fascist salutes.
“We’re so grateful to everyone who shared our appeal. Please delete your appeals now to restore his privacy,” read a tweet for Surrey Police.

Zakuani has played at the highest level of English football, representing Fulham in the English Premier League in the 2006/2007 season but has more recently played for the likes of Peterborough and Northampton Town in the country’s lower leagues.

Notably, he played against the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic when Manchester United visited Northampton in the EFL Cup in 2016.