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Leeds teenager makes debut just 3 days after brother's tragic death

19-year-old Raheem Wilks was fatally shot in Harehills on Thursday afternoon.

Police at the scene in Gathorne Terrace in the Harehills area of Leeds where Raheem Wilks was fatally shot.
Police at the scene in Gathorne Terrace in the Harehills area of Leeds where Raheem Wilks was fatally shot.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

Updated at 15.33

THE PRESENCE ON the bench of an 18-year-old who’s never played first-team football is an unusual enough sight in English football nowadays.

Yet when you consider what Mallik Wilks has been through of late, his story takes on extraordinary proportions.

Wilks’ 19-year-old brother Raheem was shot dead in Harehills, Leeds on Thursday afternoon, with a 49-year-old man arrested in connection with the murder, as reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post.

In the build up to Leeds’ FA Cup tie with Sutton United, manager Garry Monk said that Wilks still wanted to be involved in the game despite the tragedy.

The plan was always for him to be involved and that doesn’t change,” the coach told reporters.

“Having spoken to him he wants that as well so that’s good and a good sign from him.

“But all of our focus is on him, to give him the best support possible for whatever he needs.

I spoke to Mallik this morning and it’s something as a club that we are going to deal with internally.

“Really, with Mallik, it’s obviously a very difficult situation for him and a difficult time but we are here to support him as a club and that goes for everyone here within the club.

With Mallik, a good thing for him is to focus on his football and try and help him in that way and anything that he needs we are for him.”

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Wilks consequently made his first appearance at senior level after coming off the substitutes’ bench in the 64th minute during today’s FA Cup fourth-round tie.

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Paul Fennessy

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