/Gillingham footballer Gabriel Zakuani reveals his son, 11, is missing

Gillingham footballer Gabriel Zakuani reveals his son, 11, is missing


A former Premier League footballer’s 11-year-old son has gone missing.

Gabriel Zakuani has shared a desperate plea on Twitter to find little Ajae Blackwood-Petrie, last seen in his school uniform yesterday afternoon in Epsom, Surrey.

The Gillingham footballer said Ajae’s likely to be in Surrey or Greater London and described the disappearance as “totally out of character”.

“My 11 year old boy is missing and hasn’t been seen since he left school yesterday on his way to the bus stop, anyone with any kind of information please contact Surrey Police or Met Police. Please share. Really appreciate it,” Zakuani, 32, wrote.

The defender was part of Fulham’s top-flight squad between 2006 and 2009.

He since played for Stoke City, Northampton Town and Peterborough United, and the latter two clubs have aided the appeal with heartfelt Facebook posts.



Gabriel Zakuani (left) is pictured playing for Gillingham

 

“We are appealing for help in finding a missing 11-year-old boy from Epsom who has not been seen since yesterday (24 April).

“Ajae Blackwood-Petrie was reported missing yesterday after he failed to return home from school. He was last seen at approximately 3.45pm yesterday,” a Surrey Police spokesman said.

He added: “We are becoming increasingly concerned for Ajae’s safety. A number of enquiries have already been carried out and it is possible he may be in the Isle of Dogs area of London, we are linked in with our colleagues at the Metropolitan Police service and British Transport Police.

“Officers believe he is likely to have remained in the local area of Leatherhead or Epsom.”

The Gillingham captain’s tweet has been shared thousands of times.

Detective Inspector Oana King, of the Safeguarding Investigation Unit said: “If anyone has any information about where Ajae is, please contact us. He is likely travelling by bus or train.

“This is out of character for Ajae, and we are growing increasingly concerned for his safety.

“He normally comes home from school around 5pm, but yesterday, he did not return home. 

“Ajae, if you are reading this, please make contact with us so we know that you are ok. You are not in any trouble, but we do want to hear from you. If you don’t want to speak to police you can call or text the Missing People charity on 116 000.”

“Ajae is described as black, with short black hair, of slim build.

“He was last seen wearing St Andrews school uniform, a black Adidas coat and black kickers.”



The defender has played for Northampton Town

If you have seen Ajae, or you have any information which could assist our search, please contact us on 101, quoting reference number PR/45190042732.

If you are missing, or considering going missing, and want help and support; you can also call or text the charity Missing People on 116 000.

The ex-Fulham man has three other children. His youngest, Croux-Alexis, is named after Crew Alexandra.

“She’s sort of named after Crewe Alexandra because I lived near there and my wife loves the sound of it, also I’m a big fan of Alexis Sanchez so it fits,” the defender said in January 2015, seven months after her birth.

Zakuani, who has 29 caps for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, joined Gillingham in 2017. He was made club captain last year.



Zlatan Ibrahimovic in action with Zander Diamond and Gabriel Zakuani

Ibrahimovic rises above Zakuani (left) and in Zander Diamond

When he was a Northampton player, Zakuani was tasked with marking Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a cup tie against mighty Manchester United.

Speaking after United’s 3-1 win, the tall Swede compared Zakuani to “the Terminator”.

“He talks a lot on the pitch, but he talks a bit like a robot, kind of like the Terminator. It’s sort of in slow motion,” Ibrahimovic told the BBC.

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