Lokeren and Mons mourn death of Bailleul

Belgian First League outfits KSC Lokeren OV and RAEC Mons are mourning the death of former player Julien Bailleul at the age of 23 following a "long-term illness".

Julien Bailleul passed away aged 23
Julien Bailleul passed away aged 23 ©KSC Lokeren OV

Former KSC Lokeren OV and RAEC Mons defender Julien Bailleul passed away on Friday morning aged 23.

Bailleul lost his battle with a "long-term illness", both Belgian First League teams announced. "With deep sadness RAEC Mons has learned about the death of Julien Bailleul," read a club statement. "He has passed away after a serious illness which he fought against for several months. Julien will be a Dragon forever."

Bailleul, who joined Mons from French side SC Feignies in 2009, later moved to Lokeren – making nine top-flight appearances – before returning to Mons on loan. "On behalf of the club, players, trainers, technical and medical staff, board and employees, we offer our deepest sympathy to his family and friends," said a Lokeren statement.