Little Noah Needn't Worry. This Time I'm Staying

Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England), April 26, 2008 | Go to article overview

Little Noah Needn't Worry. This Time I'm Staying


Byline: By BARBARA ARGUMENT Chief Writer

WORLD-CLASS athlete Rabah Yousif is back on Teesside for a dream reunion with his family.

And the good news for fiancee Sophie Legg and their 22-month-old son Noah is - he's here for good.

"This is my life. I love this Teesside," said Rabah whose asylum appeal failed last November.

Now the Beijing Olympic 400 metre hopeful and Sophie will marry in six weeks' time.

Sharing their joy will be the family and friends who have fiercely supported the Thornaby couple during their ordeal.

The happy ending seemed an impossible dream last November when an immigration judge rejected the athlete's appeal to stay.

Devastated Rabah faced yet more years fighting the system, but finally he made the heartbreak decision to return after the government in Sudan guaranteed his safety.

"The past few years have been a rollercoaster for us," said 22-year-old Sophie, a shopworker.

"It was terrifying saying goodbye to Rabah at Middlesbrough bus station in February.

"I tried not to think about how long he'd be away, but I knew we might not see him for a long time.

"Noah really missed his dad and now he follows Rabah even if he leaves the room."

For Rabah, 21, the flight back to see his mum, dad, four sisters and brother in Khartoum was the worst time of his life.

He said: "Everyone was celebrating and although I was pleased to see them again, I missed Sophie and Noah so much. …

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