A professional footballer accused of rape broke down in tears as he told a jury he worked in an Amazon warehouse when his club suspended him from his £1,800-a-week job.
Blackpool forward Beryly Lubala said he was expecting his first child when he received a letter telling him he had been charged with rape.
The player said his agent told the club and he was immediately suspended and later started working for Amazon packing orders and then he did a delivery job.
Blackpool forward Beryly ‘Bez’ Lubala, 24, is accused of grabbing the 18-year-old by the hair, telling her to stop making noise and ‘be a good girl’ before the alleged rape on September 13, 2019
The striker was attracting attention from Championship and Premier League scouts after joining Crawley Town from Birmingham City at the time of the alleged attack in September 2019. He joined Championship side Blackpool (In their kit, above) a year later
Lubala was arrested in September 2019 a year before his transfer from Crawley Town FC to Blackpool for £300,000.
He was not charged until January 2021 after he had already started playing first team football for his new club.
Lubala, now 24, broke down as he told how he did not know if he would still be paid after the club suspended him.
The court heard he had recently arrived in Crawley on loan from Birmingham City when the woman, 18, started liking his posts on Instagram.
Lubala told police he messaged the woman and suggested she came over to his hotel room where they could ‘Netflix and chill’.
During the interview he said they had sex on two occasions but on the night of the allegation he did not want intercourse as he was playing football the following day and needed his energy for the game.
At one stage, the woman is alleged to have sent him a nude photograph showing her new tattoo.
The trial is being held at Brighton Law Courts, one of three locations used by Lewes Crown Court
The woman claims he grabbed her hair and told her to keep quiet and ‘be a good girl’ before raping her at a home in September 2019, following a number of previous sexual encounters.
Lubala said after the woman arrived, they had sex and when he went to the bathroom she got dressed and said she had to return home as she had to work early the following day.
Speaking about his arrest the day before the interview, he added: ‘It’s all a big shock to me.
‘I haven’t got anything against her as a person. I thought she was nice and good with me.
‘The word rape – it’s a massive shock. And she knows I’m not that type of person. I’m on a good buzz with my football career. I had just moved to Crawley.
‘My football career was going well. And it’s all a big shock to me from someone I thought was a nice person.
‘I really don’t [know why she has accused me]. I don’t know. It can’t be from anything I have done. So I don’t know why she has. I really don’t know.’
Lubala, pictured, said he was suspended by Blackpool after his arrest on suspicion of rape
He continued: ‘The CEO said to me You are suspended for two weeks.
‘I didn’t know what was going on.
‘I didn’t know if I was going to get paid any more.
‘At this point, my missus was pregnant with my baby.
‘I just didn’t know what to do,’ the player sobbed.
‘I went to work at Amazon, packing bags in an Amazon warehouse.
‘I did a delivery job.
‘At Blackpool I was getting £1,800-a-week.
‘That was enough to help my mum and my brother and sisters.
‘When it happened, I didn’t know what to do.’
The player said the club wanted to terminate his contract.
The player told a court in Brighton he had been helped by the PFA to settle his contract with Blackpool.
He returned to training with the first team with conditions and a chaperone.
Lubala denies raping the woman.
The trial continues at Lewes Crown Court.