Today brought the gut wrenching and utterly tragic news that ex-Newcastle United #24 Cheick Tiote had passed away after collapsing in training in China.
Tributes flooded in from all over the football world with those who’d played with him for both club and country, against him, managed him as well as the wider football community all paying their respects as the news broke.
Rumours of his death had circulated in early afternoon but it wasn’t until his agent, Emanuele Palladino, confirmed the news at around 4pm UK time that it really started to sink in.
Rafa Benitez said: “It is with great sadness that I have this afternoon learned of Cheick's death. In the all the time that I have known him, he was a true professional, dedicated, talented, and above all, a great man. Our hearts go out to his family and friends at such a sad time.”
Newcastle United club twitter feed,,,
From Papiss Cisse to Gareth Bale, the heartfelt messages continued to pour in to social media. A sign of the influence this Newcastle United star had not just had on a football pitch but with anyone he’d met.
156 games and 1 goal over 7 years was enough for fans to take this lad to our hearts. Having only made a handful of appearances for Beijing Enterprise since his move in February he leaves us just a couple of weeks before his 31st birthday. A life too short.
For me the cries of ‘SHOOOOOT’ every time he got into the oppositions half will ring in my head forever when I hear his name or see his photograph. A player who gave his heart, his everything, to our club on and off the pitch.
The infections smile. The crazy Cruyff turn when it really wasn’t appropriate. Oh, and that goal!!
RIP big man. The world is a worse place without you.