Bilel Mohsni on coming back to Southend United this weekend
BILEL Mohsni will be among those paying tribute to Chris Barker at Southend United tomorrow.
Mohsni will be returning to Roots Hall for the first time since his departure back in 2013.
And the Frenchman will be paying his respects to Barker who tragically took his own life in 2020.
“I am coming back for the Chris Barker game and it is my honour to be involved in the game for him,” said Mohsni.
“He was a good man and a good captain and I was very sad when I heard what had happened.
“I want to pay my respects to Chris and his family and I’m glad I can do that alongside my former team-mates.
“I haven’t seen them for a long time but I have some very good memories from my time at Southend and I’ll be reminded of them this weekend.
“I also hope a lot of fans come out in memory of Chris and I always had such a good relationship with them as well so I’m looking forward to seeing them and hearing them too.
“I know they had that song about me too but I can speak English now!”
Mohsni will be joined in the Southend side by the likes of Barry Corr and Liam Dickinson while Graham Coughlan, Mark Phillips and Ryan Cresswell also be in attendance.
Blues’ player of the decade Ryan Leonard will be referee while the opposing side will be made up of players who lined up alongside Barker at the other teams he played for in his career.
Carl Fletcher, Kevin Betsy and Anthony Wordsworth are among those in action along with Barker’s brother Richie and his nephew Charlie who plays for Charlton Athletic.
Every penny from the match will be donated to South East and Central Essex Mind.
And a spokesman for the event is keen to see as many fans in attendance as possible.
He said: “Chris Barker was a fantastic player, person and leader for Southend United at a time the club was really struggling.
“He was player of the year and captain for the 2013 JPT final at Wembley but he was a fantastic person too.
“He was very down to earth and you won’t find anyone at the club who didn’t like or respect him because he always had time for everyone.
“That’s the main reason in putting this game on and his family, including his daughter Demi, are coming to the match as well which is great.
“We hope they can seek some kind of comfort in seeing what Chris meant to us all and we hope to raise money to also help anyone else who might be struggling.”
Saturday’s match kicks off at 3pm with tickets priced at £5 adults and £1 for under 16s.
Those wanting to donate can do so online here.