Friday, 21 April 2017 08:10

Ugo Ehiogu: Former England defender dies after suffering cardiac arrest

Written by BBC Sport
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Former England and Aston Villa defender Ugo Ehiogu has died at the age of 44 after suffering a cardiac arrest at Tottenham's training centre on Thursday.

A Spurs statement said Ehiogu died in hospital in the early hours of Friday.

Ehiogu, who was Spurs' Under-23s coach, was capped four times by England.

"Words cannot express the shock and sadness that we all feel at the club," said Tottenham's head of coaching and development John McDermott.

"Ugo's immense presence will be irreplaceable."

Ehiogu made over 200 appearances for Aston Villa between 1991 and 2000 and then spent seven years at Middlesbrough.

He won the League Cup with Villa in 1994 and 1996, and also with Boro in 2004.

The centre-back also played for West Brom, Leeds, Rangers and Sheffield United, before retiring in 2009. He began coaching at Tottenham in 2014.

Villa will hold a minute's applause before their Championship match against Birmingham City on Sunday, with both sets of players to wear black armbands.

"I can't fathom he's no longer here," former Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who won the League Cup with Ehiogu, told BBC Radio 5 live.

He added: "He was a tremendous person, a tremendous character, a dedicated footballer and dedicated to his family. He was a great guy to be around, so full of life and so enthusiastic.

"As a centre-back, I rate him right up there. He suffered from injuries throughout his career, but with more consistency he could have added to his England caps.

"He was very much a family man and it's such a shame to leave such a young family behind."

Former England women and Arsenal Ladies forward Kelly Smith tweeted: "RIP my friend Ugo Ehiogu, gone too soon. A wonderful, caring man."

Ex-Blackburn, Chelsea and Celtic striker Chris Sutton‏ tweeted: "Really upsetting news about Ugo Ehiogu. Football has lost a great player and a great man. Thoughts go out to his family. RIP Ugo."

Denise Lewis, Great Britain's Olympic heptathlon gold medallist in 2000, tweeted:" Another sad day for sport with the death of Ugo Ehiogu. RIP."

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