A PROMISING young rugby player who was minutes away from being deported to his native Zimbabwe has thanked those who campaigned for him to stay in Glasgow.

Cartha Queen's Park starlet Moses Mazomba has been released from detention in England and returned to the city while a ­judicial review into his case takes place.

The 24-year-old, who has been living in Scotland for four years, came to the country for medical treatment on his eyes and claimed asylum following the violence that broke out in Zimbabwe after elections in 2008.

Officials launched a bid to return him to his native ­country, which led to him being put on a flight to Zimbabwe, but he did not travel and his lawyers have managed to have his case heard again.

His teammates and friends in Scotland have been campaigning for him to be allowed to stay and raised £1000 to offer as a security when he was released, although the money was not needed in the end.

After returning to Glasgow, Mr Mazomba said: "I'm absolutely amazed at the level of support I have received from my club.

"I was expecting help from just a few of my friends, so I've been very surprised that everybody has wanted to help me.

"I'm not sure what's going to happen next but I'm very ­grateful that my lawyer was able to get the review and take my case forward."

The 24-year-old has been living in Scotland since 2009 and is currently staying with his ­girlfriend while he looks for a new home.

Last month immigration ­officials put him on a flight to Harare, but an incident occurred on the plane and he was taken off following a struggle with security guards.

After being removed from the flight he was sent to Colnbrook detention centre for three weeks before a petition by his lawyers for his release was accepted.

Colnbrook immigration removal centre is described by the UK Border Agency as the "most secure removal centre" within the agency's estate, and was built to category B standard.

Mr Mazomba said the centre was "like a prison" and that he was still in pain from bruising to his body and throat he received as he was taken off the plane.

Mr Mazomba said: "The first few days in the detention centre were not good, but because of my injuries I was moved into the ­disabled section where conditions are better.

"I'm still left with pain in my back and was given painkillers and ibuprofen, but I'm still not 100%. I'm going to be meeting up with my rugby mates soon and I'll speak to the physio to see how long it will take me to get fully fit again."

Campaigners for the Glasgow-based Unity group, which supports Asylum seekers and has been helping with Mr Mazomba's bid to remain in the UK, said they were delighted he had been able to return to the city, and vowed to continue their efforts to support his battle against deportation.