Tottenham Hotspur has announced with great sadness the passing away of their under-23 coach, Ugo Ehiogu, who died this morning after suffering a cardiac arrest at the club’s training ground on Thursday.
The 44-year-old Nigerian-born English player collapsed yesterday at Tottenham’s training centre after he suffered a heart attack.
He was given medical treatment on site before being transferred to hospital by ambulance, but doctors were unable to save him.
The club’s statement read:
“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 this morning.”
Tottenham’s 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.”
The former defender, capped four times by England, starred for Aston Villa and Middlesbrough during his playing career and has been on Tottenham’s coaching staff since 2014.
Ehiogu made over 300 appearances in a nine-year stay with Villa, helping them win the League Cup in 1994 and 1996, One-year stay with Villa, helping them win the League Cup in 1994 and 1996.
He joined Middlesbrough in 2000, spending seven years there and winning the League Cup again in 2004.
Ehiogu also played for West Bromwich Albion, Leeds, Glasgow Rangers and Sheffield United before retiring in 2009.
Reacting to his sudden death Villa tweeted:
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of our former defender Ugo Ehiogu. Our thoughts are with his family at this terribly sad time.”
The Championship club says it will hold a minute’s applause at their derby match against Birmingham on Monday, with both sets of players wearing black armbands as a mark of respect to their former star.
Tributes to Ehiogu poured in from across the football world.
Australia’s Mark Schwarzer, who played with the centre-back at Middlesbrough, said: “He was the ultimate professional and someone I really enjoyed playing with.”
Former Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand also tweeted:
“Can’t believe the news that Ugo Ehiogu has passed away. Calm and warming vibe when in his company. My heart goes out to his family.”
Former England striker, Alan Shearer, wrote: “Lost for words. A true gentleman. RIP Ugo.”
Former Republic of Ireland midfielder Andy Townsend, a Villa team-mate of Ehiogu’s, added:
“I’m absolutely shocked. I didn’t expect to wake up to this news. He was a player that every team would like to have at the back.
“I remember the 3-0 win over Leeds (in the League Cup final). I looked at pictures at home this morning and Ugo is in them celebrating.”
May his soul rest in peace!