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Newcastle´s Martins cuts short pre-season after mother´s death

SoccerNews in English Premier League 25 Jul 2008

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Newcastle United striker Obafemi Martins will return to Nigeria on Friday following the tragic death of his mother.

Monsurat Martins died here on Wednesday in the aftermath of a petrol tanker accident that killed at least 12 people. She will be buried on Friday.

The 62-year-old suffered from shock following the accident, which caused a huge inferno and several explosions, near her home.

“This is a huge blow to Martins because he was very close to his mother,” a family member said.

The former Inter Milan star will be given compassionate leave by Newcastle and has been left out of Kevin Keegan's squad for Saturday's friendly at Doncaster.

He is also likely to miss next week's Mallorca Summer Cup matches against Hertha Berlin and Real Mallorca.

A Newcastle spokesman said: “Oba has flown back to Nigeria on compassionate grounds to be with his family at what is a very sad time for them.

“Everyone at the club extends their greatest sympathies to Oba and his relatives.”

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