Blackpool footballer Beryly Lubala, 24, appeared in court this week accused of raping a teenager, with his club issuing a statement.
He is alleged to have grabbed a 18-year-old female by the hair, telling her to stop making noise and be a good girl before raping her, a court heard.
The woman, who is now aged 20, told police she made it clear she didn’t want sex with the player in several text messages before driving to his home in Horsham near Crawley, West Sussex.
— Blackpool FC (@BlackpoolFC) January 19, 2022
She told the court: “I said no and he carried on. He turned into a different person. There was no kind of listening to what I did and didn’t want.”
“It was just like a stranger,” the woman told Sussex Police.
According to Blackpool Gazette, Lubala was attracting attention from Championship and Premier League scouts after joining Crawley Town from Birmingham City when the woman said she was attacked in September 2019.
A jury in Brighton heard the player, who joined Blackpool a year later, had sex with the teenager on two occasions before she visited him at his place. The court heard that the woman slept with the player twice before beginning a relationship with another woman.
They had intercourse in a hotel on the day he arrived in Crawley and again in a house he was sharing with other young players.
She blocked him from her social media while she was dating the woman.
After the relationship came to an end, Lubala contacted her again by text message.
The jury heard how the footballer told her he only wanted to watch Netflix and chill before she said yes to visiting him a third time.
Emotional voice messages were recorded by the woman left drove herself home were played out to the jury, Lancashire Live report.
Richard Hearnden for the Crown told the jury they could hear the woman say she felt violated in the raw, unfiltered account. The teen could be heard crying as she recorded the messages.
“I drove up to my friends house,” she said.
“We’ve been friends for ages. We have slept together in the past.
“We were just chilling and it just happened and I didn’t want him to. I told him I didn’t want him to. I’m just driving home in the dark, I can’t stop crying.”
Hearnden told the court: “She wasn’t raped by a stranger or outdoors or in the street or in an alleyway. She was raped by a man she knew, in his house. She wasn’t in a relationship with the man but they had been intimate before.”
Beryly Lubala has denied raping the young woman at his home in Horsham on the 13th of September 2019.
The trial at Lewes Crown Court in Brighton goes on.
Speaking to The Gazette in April, head coach Neil Critchley stated that Lubala was unavailable for selection due to a “club matter”.
“Bez isn’t available at the moment,” Critchley said at the time.
“It’s a club matter and I can’t elaborate on that I’m afraid, that’s it.”
The Tangerines said via their website: “Blackpool Football Club is aware that Beryly Lubala is standing trial in court this week for an alleged offence during his time at Crawley Town.
“Until the legal process has concluded, and an outcome has been reached, the Club is unable to comment further.”
He hasn’t made an appearance for Blackpool since February 2021.
Beryly, commonly known as Bez Lubala, is a Congolese footballer who plays as a forward, previously playing for Crawley Town and Birmingham City, where he began his senior career.
Friar Lane & Epworth
2014–2016 – Birmingham City
2016–2019 – Birmingham City – 4 games (0 goals)
2019–2020 – Crawley Town – 34 games (12 goals)
2020– Blackpool – 12 games (0 goals)
Twitter users reacted with the Blackpool footballer in court accused of raping teenager…
@mark_webster87: Club has handled this extremely difficult situation extremely well in my opinion
@SteveHembury: Explains his continued omission from the squad. Did wonder what had happened.
@andy_barlow93: Best not to have an opinion until its decided by law. I hope the truth comes out and then everyone can move on or have their opinion on the matter. Until then it’s innocent until proven otherwise.
@ryandunbar1996: Good statement but if I were Blackpool or any other club for that matter if my player was standing trial for a serious crime…. they’d be gone
@Dylbert0: Handled well by the club this is.
@theLUMSTAR: What the actual fuck?
@colinbfc71: Good statement and why would you.
@TP0wen: Fuck. Explains why he hadn’t been playing for Blackpool
@Ric_Walsh: No wonder the club dropped him and no one heard from him #bezbacknot
@BH2211FC: This does explain the prolonged silence regarding Lubala, I hope the jury and judge will make the right decision, if he is innocent then we will move on but if he is guilty then cancel his contract and release him, simple as