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US Open 2019: Johanna Konta and Dan Evans to lead British fight on day three

Johanna Konta has never been past the fourth round at the US Open in six attempts
US Open 2019
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 26 Aug – 8 Sep
Coverage: Live text and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.

Johanna Konta and Dan Evans – Britain’s remaining players in the US Open singles – face first-time opponents in the second round on Wednesday.

British number one Konta faces Margarita Gasparyan, although the scheduled 16:00 BST start was delayed by rain with no play on the outside courts before 18:00.

British men’s number two Evans plays world number 27 Lucas Pouille.

Defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic is up against Juan Ignacio Londero.

Before that five-time champion Roger Federer, who last won the title in 2008, plays Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Damir Dzumhur in one of the two early matches inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. The other match sees women’s third seed and 2016 finalist Karolina Pliskova take on Georgia’s Mariam Bolkvadze.

Serena Williams, a six-time champion and last year’s runner-up, is last up on the main court where she faces fellow American Catherine McNally.

After her first-round win over Maria Sharapova, Williams, 37, revealed she had been tweaking her game in the build-up to this tournament.

“I’ve been working on a lot of new things,” she said. “I don’t really talk about what I’ve been working on so much. I definitely have been working on a lot of new stuff to incorporate in my game.”

Other highlights on day three include two Louis Armstrong Stadium matches – fifth seed Elina Svitolina against two-time champion Venus Williams, and French Open champion Ashleigh Barty facing world number 73 Lauren Davis.

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Ambedkar House: India’s £3m property row with two London residents

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi bowing by a bust of Dr Ambedkar

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Ambedkar House

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Ambedkar House in 2015, during his visit to the UK

In a quiet corner of London, one of India’s most venerated “founding fathers” continues to leave his mark.

The city’s affluent Primrose Hill neighbourhood has been home to generations of celebrities, from model Kate Moss to actor Daniel Craig.

But hundreds of visitors – including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – have flocked from around the world to one particular townhouse.

“Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Indian Crusader of Social Justice lived here 1921-22,” proclaims a blue plaque outside the house.

Step through its doors, past a bust of Dr Ambedkar draped in garlands, and guests can see rooms reconstructed in his memory, with legal documents strewn across a dining room table. His glasses lie next to dog-eared books on the bedside table.

But there’s a problem: two neighbouring residents are opposed to the museum which, according to the local council, should not exist.

Next month, the fate of the house will be decided at a council hearing. Its owners could be forced to convert it back into a residential property and close its doors to visitors, diluting the legacy of a man whose influence still reverberates in India to this day.

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A view of Ambedkar House from outside the property in Primrose Hill, north-west London

Known as Ambedkar House, the building was bought by the government of Maharashtra, a state in western India, for more than £3m ($3.65m) in 2015.

Since its inauguration by Prime Minister Modi in 2015, it has operated as a free-to-visit attraction, dedicated to Dr Ambedkar, who is known as the architect of India’s constitution.

The home has attracted hundreds of guests, and three neighbours told the BBC that, during this time, visitors came and went without any disturbances. One resident, who lived across the road, said they did not even know it existed.

But in January 2018, Ambedkar House was reported to Camden Council for a planning breach, and the council found that the building did not have permission to operate as a museum.

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A large bust of Dr Ambedkar has been placed on a table inside the house

In February 2018, the property’s owners retrospectively applied for permission to use the building as a museum. But in October 2018, the council rejected the claim, arguing that it would amount to an “unacceptable loss” of residential space.

Two residents have also complained to the council, in north-west London, about alleged disturbances caused by “coach loads” of visitors making “noise day and night”.

The government of Maharashtra has appealed the decision and a public inquiry is scheduled for 24 September.

Maharashtra’s government refused to comment on the case. But in a statement to the BBC, India’s High Commission – its embassy in the UK – said the property “holds a special significance for a huge section of Indians”. It said a planning application was submitted to Camden Council to convert the house into a memorial.

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Dr Ambedkar, who studied at the London School of Economics, was India’s first law minister

Dr Ambedkar – a Maharashtra native who died in 1956 – was a legal scholar, a passionate civil rights activist and the man tasked with drafting the country’s constitution after its independence in 1947. He was also India’s first law minister.

He was born a Dalit – the so-called “untouchables” of India’s caste system – and became the most important and revered political leader for the community, which has faced social and economic discrimination for centuries.

He fought for women’s rights, an end to caste discrimination, and reserving jobs in government and schools for disadvantaged groups. He is widely regarded as one of India’s greatest political leaders.

Before his his political career, Dr Ambedkar briefly lived in Primrose Hill, from 1921-22, while studying for a doctorate degree in economics at the London School of Economics.

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A UK charity encouraged the government of Maharashtra to buy the property in 2015

That’s why, at the suggestion of the Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organisations (FABO), the government of Maharashtra bought the property in 2015.

When the house came up for sale, former UK civil servant Santosh Dass, who lives in Hounslow, west London, convinced the state to buy it.

She told the BBC that the property was in a dilapidated state at the time, and said the renovation work had given the home, and the community, a new lease of life.

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In one room, photocopies of documents have been strewn across a table

“We’ve done the neighbourhood a favour,” said Ms Dass, president of the FABO.

She said that discussions had been held about getting permission to turn the house into a formal museum, but organisers “underestimated how much time the whole thing would take”.

“We really want it to be a proper memorial so people can come and visit,” said Ms Dass. “Some people see it as a pilgrimage.”

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Dr Ambedkar (centre) with his second wife Mai Ambedkar and activist Rao Bahadur CK Bole (left) in Mumbai

About 50 people are estimated to visit Ambedkar House every week, including enthusiasts who travel from far away. Outside the building, one family told the BBC they had travelled from India to visit the home, which was top of their sight-seeing agenda in London.

C Gautam, a FABO committee member, was sanguine about the future of the property as a museum because “eminent people support us”.

A letter in support of the museum has been written to the borough council by Lord Richard Harries, a former bishop of Oxford. Some neighbouring residents, however, do not share his enthusiasm.

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A statue of Dr Ambedkar has been erected in the back garden of the property

One local resident, who did not wish to be named, told the BBC: “It’s supposed to be residential, not a museum.”

The resident claimed that Ambedkar House “went ahead with the renovations without permission”, adding that “crowds of people come here now”.

During Camden’s public consultation, one resident also complained that visitors “arrive in coach loads taking photos and making noise”.

Bonnie Dobson, who lives on King Henry’s Road, told the BBC she considered the objections “puzzling and upsetting”. The 78-year-old Canadian folk singer said she had lived in Primrose Hill since 1969 and made a concerted effort to know her neighbours.

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Residents have complained of disturbances on King Henry’s Road

“To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever been disturbed by the fact that the house is now a little museum,” she said.

Ms Dobson said she liked the idea that tourists were coming to see Ambedkar House but disputed ever seeing “coach loads” of visitors. “If there were coaches coming up and down my road I’d know it,” she added.

Regardless of what residents think, it is Camden Council’s Planning Inspectorate that will have the final say.

If Ambedkar House lost the appeal, its owners “would be required to return the property to its lawful use as residential”, a council spokeswoman told the BBC.

In a report on the planning application, the council said the conversion of the building into a museum was, in theory, permissible. However, it was the loss of residential space that breached policy and led to the rejection, the council said.

“In terms of balancing the loss of residential floor space against the cultural benefits, there is nothing to suggest that an alternative site could not be found,” the council said.

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A quote from Dr Ambedkar, painted on the wall, reads: “Democracy is essentially an attitude of reverence towards our fellow men”

Mr Gautam insisted that most neighbours had been supportive of Ambedkar House.

“They tell us that some of their relatives remember when Ambedkar lived there 100 years ago,” he told the BBC. “So they seem really happy that a unique thing is happening here.”

Inside the building, a quote from Dr Ambedkar is printed on one of the walls. “Democracy is essentially an attitude of reverence towards our fellow men,” the quote reads.

The council’s reverence for Ambedkar House, it seems, remains an open question.

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Media captionVolunteers hunt for treasures they say were ‘stolen’ from India during the colonial era

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Norwich 2-3 Chelsea: Tammy Abraham scores twice as Frank Lampard gets first win as Blues boss

Abraham is the youngest Chelsea player to score a Premier League brace since 1998

Tammy Abraham repaid manager Frank Lampard’s faith in youth as his two goals against Norwich helped Chelsea to their first win of the season.

In a frantic start, Abraham opened the scoring inside three minutes for the Blues, whose starting line-up had an average age of 24 years and 208 days – their youngest in the Premier League since February 1994.

But Norwich equalised just 156 seconds later, Todd Cantwell finishing from close range from a Teemu Pukki cross.

Mason Mount restored the Blues’ lead midway through the first half with his second goal of the season, but the Canaries soon pulled level once more as Pukki slotted in from a tight angle for his fifth of the campaign.

Chelsea dominated the start of the second half and were rewarded through Abraham’s second – an unstoppable drive past Tim Krul – before Kurt Zouma had a goal ruled out by the video assistant referee after substitute Olivier Giroud was judged to have fouled the Norwich keeper.

The result means Chelsea are unbeaten against Norwich in 16 meetings.

Chelsea youth stay patient

Lampard made two changes to the side that drew with Leicester last weekend, bringing in Abraham and Mateo Kovacic for Giroud and the injured N’Golo Kante, but he was forced to make another change after Pedro picked up a hamstring problem in the warm-up, replacing him with Ross Barkley.

His trust in his younger players paid dividends inside the opening 20 minutes at Carrow Road, with Abraham – who he said before kick-off would “cause Norwich problems” – finishing off Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross with a sweet finish into the bottom right-hand corner in the opening stages of the match.

Just 11 minutes after Cantwell’s equaliser for Norwich, Mount – who Lampard had on loan at Derby last season – cut inside the hosts’ defence and unleashed an unstoppable shot high into the net.

Despite Norwich’s second leveller, Chelsea continued to pressure their opponents’ shaky defence and Mount and Christian Pulisic both saw efforts go wide within moments of the second half getting under way.

Abraham’s second goal saw him become the youngest Chelsea player to score twice in a Premier League fixture since 1998, twisting and turning and tying Grant Hanley and Jamal Lewis in knots before firing past Krul.

The Blues thought they had scored again when Zouma poked a loose ball home, but the VAR got involved after referee Martin Atkinson had initially awarded the goal.

The only downside to Chelsea’s victory came late on as Mount hobbled off injured.

Canaries chirpy start slows down

Premier League newcomers Norwich have quickly established themselves as a side not to be underestimated this season and they demonstrated that early on against Chelsea as Finnish striker Pukki – the Canaries’ hat-trick hero against Newcastle – put the ball on a plate for Cantwell to score his first goal in the top flight.

After Mount’s goal, Chelsea enjoyed a spell of sustained pressure and Norwich had Krul to thank for not slipping further behind, the keeper producing a sublime save to swipe an Andreas Christensen header over the bar.

The hosts were soon level though, Pukki effortlessly slotting home to become only the 10th player to have scored in his first three Premier League appearances.

Norwich struggled to match Chelsea’s tempo after the break and had to wait more than 20 minutes for their first attack of the second half, but were punished just 30 seconds later as Abraham bagged his second.

Ben Godfrey hit the bar with a header from a corner soon after but manager Daniel Farke ruled change was needed, making a triple substitution with 10 minutes to go as his side searched for a late equaliser.

It worked to some extent, Norwich pushing Chelsea harder in the later stages than they had throughout the half but ultimately struggling to find the end product.

Man of the match – Mason Mount (Chelsea)

Mount scored his second goal of the season and was a constant threat in and around the Norwich box, having five shots and making two key passes

‘I’m really pleased’ – what they said

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, speaking to BBC Match of the Day: “It was a tough test and Norwich will get a lot of points here because they are a good side.

“The two goals we gave away I didn’t like but there were lots of good elements to our play and I’m really pleased.

“I’m particularly pleased for Tammy – he scored two good goals and the winning goal – but I want to talk about all the players today as we controlled the game on a hot day. Our performances haven’t given us what we deserved so far – but today it did.

“Pedro felt his hamstring in the warm-up but Mason was just a kick to his calf so hopefully he can quickly recover.”

Norwich manager Daniel Farke, speaking to BT Sport: “It was a pretty close game. Small details made the difference today.

“I think 2-2 at half time was the right result. Then Chelsea were dominating in the first 15 minutes of the second half and that gave them the edge.

“Sometimes when you play against a team like Chelsea, you have to ride that pressure out. I am pretty happy with the performance, we had a number of chances, unfortunately we could not find the equaliser.”

The stats

  • Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has lost none of his three managerial meetings with Norwich (W2 D1), winning both of his visits to Carrow Road (also 4-3 with Derby in December 2018) – Mason Mount has been on the scoresheet in both such wins.
  • Norwich have scored at least twice in 16 of their last 17 home league games, scoring a total of 46 goals in this period. However, this was their first home league defeat of 2019 (P12 W8 D3 L1).
  • Both Norwich and Chelsea had scored after just five minutes and 32 seconds, the earliest time taken for both teams to find the net in a Premier League fixture since November 2017, when Crystal Palace v Everton was at 1-1 after 5:25.
  • Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has scored 28 league goals (including in the play-offs) since the start of last season, the most of any English player in the top two tiers of English football in that time.
  • Aged 21 years and 326 days old, Abraham is the third youngest player to score a brace in the Premier League for Chelsea, after Mark Nicholls in January 1998 against Coventry (20y 225d) and Eddie Newton in December 1992 against Tottenham (20y 358d).
  • Norwich forward Teemu Pukki (five goals) is the 10th player to score in each of his first three Premier League appearances, while only Pavel Pogrebnyak also scored as many as five in his first three in the competition.
  • Chelsea had two English players aged 21 or under score in the same Premier League match (Abraham and Mason Mount) for the first time since 22 August 1992, when Eddie Newton and Graham Stuart scored against Sheffield Wednesday.
  • Norwich’s Todd Cantwell (one goal, two assists) has already been directly involved in as many Premier League goals in three games as he was in 24 Championship appearances last season.
  • Since the start of last season, Norwich’s league matches have seen a total of 164 goals scored (99 for, 65 against), more than any other side in the top four tiers of English football in this time (excluding play-offs).

What’s next?

Following a trip to Crawley in the EFL Cup on Tuesday (19:45 BST), Norwich travel to West Ham on Saturday (15:00 BST) while Chelsea host Sheffield United at the same time.

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Burning Grenfell effigy model ‘was joke about friends’

Grenfell effigy

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The model was burned at a bonfire party in south London on 3 November 2018

Figures pictured on a cardboard effigy of Grenfell Tower filmed being burned were not meant to represent people who died, a court heard.

Paul Bussetti, 47, told Westminster Magistrates’ Court the images depicted friends who were at a bonfire party on 3 November 2018.

He shared footage of the effigy on WhatsApp and it was added to YouTube.

Mr Bussetti denies sending or causing grossly offensive material to be sent via a public communications network.

The clip of the cardboard building, which had “Grenfell Tower” written on it, was recorded at a party attended by about 30 people in south London.

Prosecutors said the footage is racist in its content, while a relative of one of the 72 people who died in the blaze on 14 June 2017 called it “revolting”.

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PA Media

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Paul Bussetti told the court he was not a racist

Mr Bussetti, of South Norwood, told the court the effigy had been created by his friend Steve Bull and was meant as a joke “about us”.

Asked who the characters on the effigy were, he said they were “the majority of people that were at the party” who had all found it “funny”.

One black-clad figure who was referred to as “ninja” was meant to represent his friend’s son who did martial arts, while his own image had been on the other side of the box, the Mr Bussetti said.

The father-of-two said he shared the footage with about 20 people on two WhatsApp groups but he had never intended it to go further.

When prosecutor Philip Scott suggested he sent the footage because it was in keeping with other “highly racist” content he shared, Mr Bussetti replied that it was “just banter” and denied being racist.

He also told the court he had not originally told police that the people in the tower were him and his friends because he was “scared” and “nervous”.

The trial continues.

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Leyton Orient kit man saves dog on way to Mansfield match

They say every dog has its day, and some quick thinking from the Leyton Orient kit man ensured canine Pavo would live to fight another day.

The League Two side’s team coach was travelling to Mansfield for Tuesday’s game, on a slip road joining the A12, when Ada Martin spotted a dog racing across the busy road.

Pavo darted in front of a truck – which thankfully came to a halt – allowing the O’s kit man to run out, call to his furry friend and pick him up, with “tail wagging”.

A call to the number on Pavo’s collar found his family, with an Orient fan looking after it at a nearby hotel until dog could be reunited with owner.

Martin, a former club groundsman and mascot, will be hoping Pavo is Orient’s new lucky charm as Ross Embleton’s side look for a first away win of the season at Field Mill.

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Ashley Cole: Ex-Arsenal, Chelsea and England full-back retires

Ashley Cole heads in first FA Cup goal

Former England, Arsenal and Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole has announced his playing retirement from football.

Cole, 38, was out of contract at Derby County at the end of the 2018-19 season and says he is now focused on coaching.

He made his professional debut for Arsenal in 1999 and went on to represent Crystal Palace on loan, Chelsea, Roma, LA Galaxy and Derby.

“After hard thinking it was time to hang up my boots and look forward to my next chapter,” Cole told Sky Sports.

Cole said he is currently taking qualifications with a view to move into a coaching role.

The London-born defender earned 107 caps for England and is the most decorated footballer in FA Cup history, having lifted the trophy seven times.

He also won the Premier League twice with Arsenal – including the 2003-04 season in which the Gunners went unbeaten – and once with Chelsea after moving to Stamford Bridge in 2006.

Cole won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2011-12 and the Europa League the following season.

After joining Derby County in January, he worked under the management of his former Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard and helped the club to the Championship play-off final, where they were beaten by Aston Villa.

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Tammy Abraham: Frank Lampard demands social media firms crack down on abuse of players

Tammy Abraham was abused on Twitter after missing the crucial penalty against Liverpool in the Uefa Super Cup

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says social media companies need to do more to stop players being targeted after racial abuse aimed at striker Tammy Abraham.

The 21-year-old striker suffered the abuse after missing the decisive penalty in the Uefa Super Cup shootout defeat by Liverpool on Wednesday.

Chelsea have already condemned the “abhorrent posts” aimed at Abraham.

“Tammy is more than disappointed. I am disgusted by a so-called Chelsea fan,” Lampard said.

“I don’t know how it’s allowed on the [social media] platforms. It’s too easy, so something needs to be done.

“I’m so angry for Tammy and angry for us as a club because that’s not what we’re about, the club does a lot of work against discrimination on all levels.

“It’s a setback when these things happens.

“I have spoken with Tammy, he is a strong character. He’s infectious, he is a great young man and his football career is ahead of him. It will be a test of his character that he shouldn’t need.”

The club’s reaction comes after Kick It Out issued a statement condemning the treatment of Abraham and calling for “social media companies to clamp down on this level of abuse”.

It added: “We want to know what they are going to do to tackle this insidious problem.”

Twitter says it remains “deeply committed to improving the health of the conversation” on the social media platform.

“We continue to take action on any account that violates the Twitter Rules,” a spokesperson said this week.

Kick It Out also produced a report, released in July, which showed reports of racist abuse increased by 43% last season, with 274 cases compared with 192 the previous season.

In one of those, Chelsea suspended six fans for using “abusive language and threatening and aggressive behaviour” towards Manchester City and England player Raheem Sterling during a Premier League match at Stamford Bridge in December 2018.

One of those fans was banned for life for using “racially abusive language” towards Sterling.

There were also two further cases of racial abuse involving Chelsea last season, which the club are investigating.

One involved a video which abused Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah, and another where a supporter said he was abused by fellow Chelsea fans while attending a Europa League game at Slavia Prague.

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Justin Edinburgh: Leyton Orient working through grief after manager’s sudden death

Justin Edinburgh died less than two months after guiding Leyton Orient to the National League title

How does a football club cope when their manager dies?

It is a situation which is thankfully rare – but one which befell Leyton Orient this summer, shortly after their promotion back to the English Football League.

Justin Edinburgh – the man who had led the O’s to the National League title in May – died at the age of 49 in June, five days after suffering a cardiac arrest.

For players and staff of the east London side, coming to terms with Edinburgh’s death has been a process which is still continuing.

‘You don’t know how to act’

The news was announced on a Saturday evening – and in the days that followed The Breyer Group Stadium became a place for all affiliated to the club to gather and pay their respects.

“I was able to come to the stadium and be around people sharing their grief,” said club captain Jobi McAnuff.

“It was very important, particularly in the early days, to let those emotions out; to cry, to speak about Justin and remember the good times – which would obviously set you off again.”

The shock caused by a sudden death is the first barrier to overcome and Orient’s squad met soon after Edinburgh’s passing.

“Everyone has been taken into territory they could never have imagined,” said club chaplain Alan Comfort.

“Just the disbelief of these young men – shocked to tears and rightfully so. All of them experiencing the same thing is rare.

“Having everybody together, trying to help them in some way, but watching them just begin to talk it through or work it through was the beginning.”

Scarves, shirts and flowers were left at Leyton Orient’s stadium in tribute to Edinburgh

Orient had endured their share of trauma off the pitch in the years before Edinburgh was appointed in November 2017.

Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti had bought the Brisbane Road outfit in the summer of 2014, shortly after the O’s had finished third in League One and lost the play-off final on penalties.

Three years later, the club had been through 11 different managers, lost several key players and suffered two relegations to drop into non-league for the first time in 112 years.

Following a takeover in the summer of 2017, Edinburgh helped reunite the club, then delivered success on the pitch.

But the club would now need to appoint a successor.

‘I’d never want people to call me gaffer’

Eight days after Edinburgh’s death, chairman Nigel Travis said Orient planned to “build on” the former Tottenham defender’s coaching team when they named a new boss.

Ross Embleton, Edinburgh’s assistant, was handed the reigns as interim head coach three days later.

“I built a relationship with Justin in 18 months that was quite remarkable for how close we became, with the respect that I had for him,” said Embleton.

“The one thing I will never be able to do and I would never want to do is to step into his shoes. I’d never want people to call me gaffer because that’s what I used to refer to him.

“One thing I said to the players on the day we got them all together after Justin passed away was ‘someone has got to try to lead us towards normality again’.

“That is my job.”

Ross Embleton was assistant to Edinburgh for 18 months at Leyton Orient

One man who has been through the same situation as Embleton is Gary Simpson.

He was assistant to Keith Alexander at Macclesfield Town when Alexander suddenly died in March 2010, aged 53.

Simpson took over as manager and, incredibly, then had to deal with the death of midfielder Richard Butcher in January 2011, with the 29-year-old dying from a heart condition.

“When I heard about Justin I felt for the Orient lads and everyone connected,” said Simpson.

“It is something you don’t think you’ll ever have to come up against. I came up against it with my best mate and manager going, and then a player who was like a son to me.

“I don’t know what Ross is like but obviously he has worked with the players, and the players know him and will look to him.

“He’ll be his own man and want to put his own stamp on things as well. He’ll want to do things in Justin’s memory, like we did with Keith.

“The grief was difficult. You just go in a zone and you just deal with it.”

‘It is OK to have my meltdown’

As the squad attended Edinburgh’s funeral and his memorial service in Cheltenham on 16 July, support was constantly on hand; be it through the club itself, the Professional Footballers’ Association or the League Managers’ Association.

Club chaplain Comfort, himself a former player who spent three years with the O’s during the 1980s, has also offered a “trusted ear” and confidentiality to players and the squad.

“As a few weeks pass, it is possible you just have to start getting on with life – as the players are,” said Comfort, the incumbent vicar at St John the Evangelist in Upper Holloway.

“You can feel guilty that there was Justin and now he is not there, and it has only been a few weeks.

“You try to help them to keep talking about him and say it’s normal to go on and enjoy your football and keep going.

“And yet it is also normal to keep talking about Justin and remembering and laughing, because he made them laugh.”

Edinburgh managed in non-league, guided Newport into the EFL and had spells in charge of Gillingham and Northampton before joining Orient

“Talking about it sounds like an easy thing to do, but it’s not,” Embleton, 37, added. “There have been so many unusual feelings and so many unusual moments.

“The lows and emotions come at strange old times.

“I have a lot of people around me here who have been through the same emotions that I have, but we are all blokes that come to work every day and we are all proud.

“Sometimes we feel as though you don’t find it so easy to talk. I think the biggest thing I am learning is that it is OK to have my meltdown when I have meltdown.”

Orient also have Martin Ling to call on, their director of football who has spoken publicly about his struggles with depression.

“You know Martin will allow and want people to be able to get the right help and have the right amount of time to be able to work things through because he knows, in his scenario, he didn’t always have that,” said Comfort.

“It led to things for him that he had to work through for years. The club, and the football staff particularly, in that sense are in the hands of somebody who is going to be very helpful.”

Embleton added: “The players are humans and they have all experienced something I would never wish on anybody else at any time.

“We have to understand the boys will have their struggles and tough periods. We need to know we have each other’s support.”

Returning to playing

Ling said the League Two fixture release day was “tinged with sadness” because of the absence of Edinburgh, who had led the club back into the EFL.

Orient opened the campaign with a 1-0 win over Cheltenham Town at an emotional Brisbane Road on Saturday, 3 August.

Visiting fans had raised money for a banner in tribute to Edinburgh, while Orient fans spelled out ‘JE3’ via a card mosaic and there was a minute’s silence before kick-off.

Robins fans also presented a donation to the Justin Edinburgh 3 Foundation, which has been set up by Edinburgh’s family.

Fittingly it was Josh Wright – the last player signed by Edinburgh – who scored the only goal of the game.

The 29-year-old was close to his former manager, having played under him at Gillingham and invited Edinburgh to his wedding last year.

“It has been like a big blur and it is only as time is going on that things are setting down, as they do with time and things heal,” he said.

“It is hard to explain because there are no answers. There never will be. You will never be able to understand it and believe it.

“I feel awfully and terribly sad about the circumstances that Justin isn’t with us, but we have to use that to galvanise us.”

Josh Wright (right) scored the goal which gave Orient victory in their first competitive game after Edinburgh’s death

McAnuff, who has taken on the role of interim player-coach, thinks the return to playing gives the players “a focus”, and thinking of Edinburgh will provide motivation to the squad.

“We have got to use it to channel those emotions and use it as a positive to spur us on,” said the 37-year-old midfielder.

“There should certainly be no points during the season that we need that extra bit of geeing up given what has happened.

“At the same time we can’t rely on it – that is not just going to win us a game. We are not going to get any sympathy from any of the other teams we come across.

“But Justin is certainly with us and we carry him with us in everything we do and, as a club and individuals, that will certainly be the case going forwards.”

Simpson says Alexander’s mid-season death helped his Macclesfield side, who were battling against relegation in League Two, become a “tight-knit group” and survive the drop.

“We pulled together and it gave us a focus – that we wanted to put the club in a safe position for him,” Simpson, 58, said.

Keeping Edinburgh in mind

While football moves on and the season continues, Orient are keen to remember Edinburgh, with their former manager retaining a profile on the club website