Former Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote has died at the age of 30 after collapsing during a training session in China.
Tiote, who only moved to Chinese second division outfit Beijing Enterprises four months ago, was rushed to hospital on Monday evening at 6pm local time.
However, the Ivorian passed away at around 7pm, and his agent confirmed the Ivorian’s death in a statement.
Cheick Tiote has died after collapsing during a training session in China
Tiote was reportedly rushed to hospital but passed away at the age of 30
The Ivorian spent seven years with Newcastle United before moving to China
Born: June 21, 1986
Clubs: Anderlecht, Roda, Twente, Newcastle, Beijing Enterprises
International caps: 52 (1 goal)
Honours: Belgian First Division (2006, 2007); Belgian Super Cup (2006, 2007); Eredivisie (2010); Dutch Super Cup (2010); Africa Cup of Nations (2015)
‘It is with deep sadness that I confirm that my client Cheick Tiote sadly passed away earlier today after collapsing in training with his club Beijing Enterprises,’ said Emanuele Palladino.
‘We cannot say any more at the moment and we request that his family’s privacy be respected at this difficult time.
‘We ask for all your prayers.’
A Beijing Enterprises statement read: ‘At 6pm on June 5, Tiote fell unconscious during training. He was immediately taken to hosp but died at 7pm’.
The world of football was quick to pay tribute.
Newcastle posted a short statement via Twitter, which read: ‘We are devastated to have learnt of the tragic passing of former Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tioté in China today.’
Manager Rafael Benitez called Tiote ‘a great man’ as he remembered his former charge.
‘It is with great sadness that I have this afternoon learned of Cheick’s death,’ he said.
Demba Ba, who played with Tiote during their time together at Newcastle, mourned his death
Tiote’s former Newcastle team-mate Stephen Harper paid tribute on Twitter
Tiote is pictured in action for FC Twente during his time in Holland
The midfielder won 52 caps for his country – here is pictured in action against Brazil
We are devastated to have learnt of the tragic passing of Cheick Tioté at the age of just 30.
The thoughts of everyone at Newcastle United are with Cheick’s family, friends, teammates and everyone connected with the clubs he represented.
The Ivory Coast midfielder, who made more than 150 appearances for the Magpies between 2010 and 2017, was training with his current club, Bejiing Enterprises, on Monday when he collapsed.
He was taken to hospital but sadly passed away. Cheick cemented his place in Newcastle folklore with his dramatic equaliser in the 4-4 draw against Arsenal in February 2011.
‘In the all the time that I have known him, he was a true professional, dedicated and above all, a great man.
‘Our hearts go out to his family and friends at such a sad time.’
Demba Ba, with whom Tiote played during his six-and-a-half-year stay at St James’ Park, paid tribute to his former team-mate on Twitter.
He wrote: ‘may Allah gives grant you jannah (paradise) brother Tiote’.
Another former colleague, goalkeeper Stephen Harper, wrote: ‘Gutted to hear the awful news about my former teammate Cheik Tiote today.
‘Thoughts with his friends and family.’
Jonas Gutierrez posted a photo of Tiote on Instagram and wrote: ‘Sad news.
‘Always going to be remember our time together at #nufc RIP my friend.’
Tiote scored just once for Newcastle – in a memorable 4-4 draw with Arsenal
Ex-Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse wrote: ‘Goodnight brother, You will be missed. My heart goes out to his family. Gone too soon.’
The Ivorian midfielder made 156 appearances for Newcastle after signing from Dutch club FC Twente for £3.5million in 2010.
Tiote scored just one goal for the Magpies but it will live long in the memories of Newcastle supporters, having secured a point in a remarkable 4-4 draw with Arsenal.
He represented his country at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and was part of the Africa Cup of Nations-winning Ivory Coast squad in 2015.
His final Toon appearance came in an FA Cup clash with Birmingham in January, after which he moved to Asia to sign for Beijing Enterprises Group.