A 19 year old man who died in the water at Salford Quays has been named as Ngapee Merenga.It is thought the talented footballer from Ardwick, had been swimming with friends from his football team when he disappeared under the water on Sunday evening.A number of young men are said to have made desperate attempts to rescue him until the emergency services arrived.
Friends and family gathered at the spot to pay their respects to Ngapee.Some laid flowers while others left poignant messages in chalk at the water's edge.
Ngapee, a striker, was East Central Falcons FC's top goal scorer last season, scoring 17 goals in 14 matches plus two assists.Friends say he worked hard at his football and studied sports science at the Nicholls campus of The Manchester College.Yahya Mazhar, 18, from Longsight played football with Ngapee for East Central Falcons FC in Ardwick. He described his friend as 'good guy' and a 'talented footballer'.Yahya said the team had played a match on Sunday morning before heading to Salford Quays for a swim."We had been here for about an hour and we'd been swimming. We were about to go and Ngapee said he wanted to jump in one last time. He jumped in and never came back up."
His friends said Ngapee had moved to Manchester with his family from Namibia around five years ago.Mike Edwards, manager and coach of East Central Falcons, described Ngapee as 'a true legend'.
"Myself and the team have come to down here today to pay our respects and make sure that he rests in peace."The young man's body was found after a huge search operation involving Greater Manchester Police, the fire service and a police helicopter.
His team have launched a GoFundMe page to help Ngapee's family with funeral costs.