Before our usual Zoom press conference began, manager David Artell wanted to pay tribute to former defender Christian Mbulu.
He said: “It’s extremely sad. I think to lose any footballer, is a tragic turn of events because they are fit young men.
“Christian was no different. 23, is no age at all. He was a terrific guy. He was full of life, always smiling and an all-round great guy with good morals. That’s what makes it even worse.
"Some of the lads who are really close to him haven’t taken it well. We’ll put our arms around them and make sure they have the comfort, love and support they need.”
On Tuesday evening, the club received the devastating news that the 23-year-old had sadly passed away.
Christian spent the majority of pre-season with the Alex before Artell officially signed him in November. The central defender went on to make seven appearances during his short-term spell before making the switch to Morecambe in January.
Artell added: “He was a trier, a fighter, he was a good kid. The fact that we couldn’t quite manage to get a deal done originally, not from his side. Then we had to make a move due to a couple of injuries. I believe that shows how much of a true professional he was. I always feel that the best professionals are the best people deep down.
“I feel that he was one of those guys. He was terrific, he was no trouble, he’d do everything you’d say and take everything on board.
“When we speak about players who aren’t at our football club, we say ‘are they coachable?’ He certainly was. He was so easy to get on with, so personable and receptive, to help we were trying to give him and he would give it back in spades.
“The footballing gods didn’t smile favourably on him, because he’d been released a couple of times from different clubs, but he was going to have a career.
“He had the raw attributes that would’ve opened doors for him and on the back of that he had a great attitude and was coachable. He was only going to get better and he would have had a great career in football.”
The boss finished with: “He was a good guy, a real top guy.”