Former Newcastle star Cheick Tiote dies at the age of 30 after collapsing during training with Chinese second division side
- Former Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote has passed away at the age of 30
- Tiote collapsed and died during a training session, his agent has confirmed
- He was playing for Chinese second division outfit Beijing Enterprises
- Tiote played for Newcastle for six-and-a-half years before leaving in February
- He became a cult hero among Magpies fans for his only goal, against Arsenal
- It later emerged that Tiote’s wife is expecting a baby
Tributes have been paid to former Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote after his sudden death at the age of 30.
The Ivory Coast international suffered a heart attack during a training session with Chinese club Beijing Enterprise on Monday. It has also emerged that the partner of the father of three is expecting a baby in the coming weeks.
Tiote left Newcastle in February after nearly seven years at St James’ Park, during which time he made 156 appearances and scored one goal.
Cheick Tiote has died after collapsing during a training session in China
Tiote was rushed to hospital but passed away at the age of 30
But it is that goal for which he will be best remembered, a stunning 30-yard volley to complete one of the greatest comebacks in Premier League history as the Magpies drew 4-4 at home to Arsenal having been 4-0 down at half-time.
Alan Pardew managed Tiote for four years, and he said: ‘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 and it didn’t surprise me that clubs like Manchester United were being linked with attempts to sign him.
‘None of us will ever forget that incredible day when we came from 4-0 down to draw an unbelievable game against Arsenal, with Cheick’s incredible goal in the final moments one of the iconic moments in Premier League history.
‘I loved him. Life is not fair sometimes and I will remember Cheick Tiote as a giant of a midfielder who I loved to managed. Rest in peace my friend.’
Current Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez said: ‘In all the time that I have known him, he was a true professional, dedicated and above all, a great man.’
Tiote joined Newcastle in 2010 for £3.5million from FC Twente, where he had just won the Eredivisie title under Steve McClaren.
Supporters could not believe how good the holding midfield player was and he quickly became a fan favourite, earning the nickname ‘Mr T’ because of his mohawk hairstyle and no-nonsense approach on the field. Indeed, he was booked 56 times and sent off twice. That, though, was part of his popularity, the cards a byproduct of his commitment. At a club like Newcastle, that counted for a lot among fans.
During his debut season there was talk of a £25m approach from Manchester United and so Newcastle moved quickly to reward him with a new six-and-a-half-year contract just six months after he had signed. He went on to help Pardew’s side finish fifth in 2012.