Cheick Tiote dies in China after collapsing in training session
Ivory Coast international Cheick Tiote died on Monday after collapsing during training with Beijing Enterprises, the club confirmed. He was 30.
Beijing Enterprises said the former Newcastle midfielder died about one hour after losing consciousness in training.
"At approximately 6 p.m. of June 5, 2017, when the team was having their regular training session, our foreign player from Ivory Coast, Mr Cheik Tiote, fainted without any warning," a team statement said. "The club sent him to hospital immediately. However, all revival measures proved ineffective. Mr Tiote passed away at approximate 7 p.m. The club has already contacted his family.
"Since joining Beijing BG football club on Feb 5., 2017, Mr Cheik Tiote has contributed to the club significantly. His football skills and professionalism have been much appreciated and highly praised by the club, the coaches and his teammates. Hereby, Beijing BG football club expresses our deepest sorrow following Mr Tiote's passing."
Tiote moved to China in February after signing with the second-division club from Newcastle. The defensive midfielder spent six-and-a-half seasons on Tyneside, making more than 150 appearances while playing in both the Premier League and Championship.
Newcastle noted Tiote's remarkable volley to equalise in a 4-4 draw with Arsenal in 2011 -- his only goal for the club.
We'll never forget you, Cheick. ⚫️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/c8aO6EyW5w- Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) June 5, 2017
"We are devastated to have learnt of the tragic passing of Cheick Tiote at the age of just 30," Newcastle's statement said. "The thoughts of everyone at Newcastle United are with Cheick's family, friends, teammates and everyone connected with the clubs he represented."
Tiote also made 53 appearances for Ivory Coast and was in the squad that won the 2015 African Nations Cup. He played at the World Cup in both 2010 and 2014.
Tiote said in 2010 that he did not even see a pair of boots for five years after taking up football, telling reporters: "I played barefoot. With bare feet I actually had better contact with the ball, and it helped me develop."
One of 10 siblings, Tiote's nascent talent was spotted by scouts from Anderlecht, and in 2005, at the age of 19, he signed a three-year contract with the Belgian club.
Tiote's remarkable trajectory took him into a Champions League debut the following year, but injuries hampered his progress and he was farmed out for a loan spell at Dutch club Roda JC.
In 2008, Tiote moved to FC Twente, where he won the Eredivisie in 2010 under former England boss Steve McClaren. Tiote's reputation as a combative, ball-playing midfielder attracted the attention of Newcastle, for whom he signed in a £3.5 million deal that August.
But having found himself increasingly on the margins of the first team under Rafa Benitez last season, it was little surprise when he left the Magpies in February to sign a lucrative deal in China.
His former teammates expressed condolences on social media as word of his death spread
������ may Allah gives grant you jannah brother Tiote ������- Demba Ba (@dembabafoot) June 5, 2017
No words ������������������������������������ #cheicktiote- Didier Drogba (@didierdrogba) June 5, 2017
Cheickouuuuuuuuu�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� pic.twitter.com/v84s5zJ0ll- Serge Aurier (@Serge_aurier) June 5, 2017
I am speechless and so incredibly sad. Cheick Tioté was one of the nicest and toughest teammates I have ever had. Rest in peace brother.- Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) June 5, 2017
Deeply sad to hear the news about Cheick.. One of my favourite teammates.. My thoughts are with his family. pic.twitter.com/FvS6TdDctP- Tim Krul (@TimKrul) June 5, 2017
Terrible news, R.I.P. Tiote. Always enjoyed sitting next to you in the dressing room my friend.- Siem de Jong (@siemdejong) June 5, 2017
Goodnight brother, You will be missed. My heart goes out to his family. Gone too soon #RIPcheiktiote- Papiss Demba Cisse (@CissePapiss) June 5, 2017
Former Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said he "loved" coaching Tiote, while Benitez also paid tribute to the player's character.
"In all the time that I have known him, he was a true professional, dedicated and, above all, a great man," Benitez said. "Our hearts go out to his family and friends at such a sad time."
Information from Press Association was used in this report.
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