The football community was inundated in tears on Friday after news of the death of Ugo Ehiogu, a former England defender, who passed away today, at the age of 44.
It was gathered that he tragically died after suffering a heart attack at Tottenham Hotspur’s training ground, where he was coaching the club’s Under-23s team.
Spurs confirmed the news on Friday in a statement after devastated staff, including manager Mauricio Pochettino, were informed in the early hours of the morning.
It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of Ugo Ehiogu, our Under-23 coach. pic.twitter.com/sSU0yqVfyk
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) April 21, 2017
Sources who witnessed the incident said that Pochettino and his assistant Jesus Perez were clearly upset as they left the scene, with staff at the training ground also saddened by what happened.
In a statement confirming Ehiogu’s death, Tottenham said: “It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of Ugo Ehiogu, our Under-23 coach.
“Ugo received immediate treatment after suffering a cardiac arrest at the Training Centre yesterday before being transferred to hospital, where he passed away in the early hours of the morning.”
Head of coaching and player development John McDermott said: “Words cannot express the shock and sadness that we all feel at the club. Ugo’s immense presence will be irreplaceable. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his wife Gemma and his family.”
Everyone at United is saddened to learn of the tragic death of Ugo Ehiogu. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues. pic.twitter.com/eV8l5lgHLl
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 21, 2017
Football pundit Paul Merson has paid an emotional tribute to Ehiogu following the news of his sudden death.
Apparently in tears, Merson, who played with Ehiogu at Villa in the late 1990s, said:
“I am still devastated. He was such a top bloke it was unbelievable.”
“He was a man-mountain. You know what, Billy Joel always sings a song, ‘Only the good die young’.”
Ehiogu won two League Cups, the first with Villa in 1995 and the second with Middlesbrough in 2004.
He earned four caps for England, scoring one goal, which came in a friendly win over Spain in 2001.