Birmigham City midfielder Aliou Cisse has returned to Senegal after 11 members of his family were killed in a ferry disaster.
Up to 400 people drowned when the ferry capsized last week, among them 11 members of Cisse’s family.
But the Senegal international did not mention the incident all week andplayed for Birmingham in Saturday’s victory at West Ham, before boarding a flight back to Senegal.
“I had 11 members of my family on that boat. Cousins, an uncle and aunt,” confirmed Cisse.
“This victory I dedicate to their memory. Now I have done my job and must go home.”
Birmingham manager Blues boss Steve Bruce admitted that his player had not discussed the incident until the eve of the match with West Ham, preferring to focus on Saturday’s game.
“He never mentioned what had happened all week, until he was arranging his flight home on Friday,’ said Bruce.
“I’d got a whisper about it on Thursday and asked him what had happened.
“Yet he told me he just wanted to concentrate on the game. It certainly puts football into perspective.”
“For Aliou to go out there and play like he did here is a massive tribute to the man,” acknowledged Bruce.
“To show that sort of mental strength takes incredible courage and it’s irrelevant when he comes back.
“I’ve told him to stay away for however long it takes to get over the loss of so many family members.