Former Newcastle United player Cheick Tiote has died after collapsing during training with his club team in China. The Ivory Coast international was completing a training session with China League One team Beijing Enterprises Football Club when he collapsed to the ground.
The 30-year-old Tiote was taken to a local hospital where he received emergency treatment, but was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Emanuele Palladino, Tiote’s representative, said: “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.
“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.”
Tiote had moved on a free transfer to China in February 2017 after six and a half seasons with Newcastle United. He had already played 11 times for second division side Beijing Enterprises.
Tiote was one of just two non-Chinese or non-Taiwanese players on the team’s squad. Nigerian Leke James was the only other foreign player from outside of Asia on the team.
Newcastle United released a statement following the tragedy:
“We are devastated to have learnt of the tragic passing of Cheick Tiote at the age of just 30. The thoughts of everyone at Newcastle United are with Cheick’s family, friends, team-mates and everyone connected with the clubs he represented.”
We'll never forget you, Cheick. ⚫️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/c8aO6EyW5w
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) June 5, 2017
Club manager Rafa Benitez also released a statement following the news.
“It is with great sadness that I have this afternoon learned of Cheick’s death,” Benitez said.
“In 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.”
Cheick Tiote career stats:
- 1 goal, 9 assists in 138 Premier League Matches
- 1 goal in 55 appearances for the Ivory Coast
- 1 Dutch Eredivisie title with FC Twente in 2009-10
- 1 Dutch Super Cup with FC Twente in 2011
- 2 Belgium League titles with Anderlecht in 2005-06, 2006-07
- 1 Africa Cup winner with Ivory Coast in 2015
After the news of Tiote’s passing broke, several Newcastle United players and officials have spoken out about the quality of man the midfielder was on and off the pitch.