The football world was rocked once again today with the tragic passing of former Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote at the age of 30.
The Ivory Coast international passed away from heart failure in China after collapsing in training with his club, Beijing Enterprises.
As reported in the Independent, former Magpies manager Alan Pardew has spoken of his shock at his former players untimely death.
“I’m devastated to hear the news about my former player and friend Cheick Tiote,”
“From the moment I arrived at Newcastle, Cheick was a wonderful presence around the dressing room and his performances on the field often defied belief.”
“There were days when he must have covered every blade of grass on a football field and it didn’t surprise me that clubs like Manchester United were being linked with attempts to sign him.”
Pardew also spoke of Tiote’s contribution to one of the Premier League’s greatest games when Newcastle came from 4-0 down to draw level with Arsene Wenger’s stunned Arsenal in February 2011, with Tiote netting a stunning equalizer.
“None of us will ever forget that incredible day when our Newcastle team came from 4-0 down to draw an unbelievable Premier League game against Arsenal, with Cheick’s incredible goal in the final moments of that game one of the iconic moments in Premier League history.”
“I loved him. He’s everything that you want in a Newcastle player. He has the quality, and of course you’ll never underestimate the fact that he wants to win.
“I just loved that he’s a winner. It can overcome so many obstacles as a footballer. Young players could take a big leaf out of his book in terms of how he approaches training and games and he was a special young man.
“To hear the news that he has passed away at the age of 30 breaks my heart and my sympathies go out to all his family and friends who will be devastated by this news.
“Life if not fair sometime and I will remember Cheick Tiote as a giant of a midfielder who I loved to managed.
“Rest in peace my friend.”
Damien McEvoy Pundit Arena