Big Elephant Cheick Tiote dies in China

Big Elephant Cheick Tiote dies in China
Cheick Tioté

by Brian Lee

Monday Jun 05, 2017. 19:08

Cote d’Ivoire international Cheick Tiote has passed away after collapsing during a training session at Chinese second-tier side Beijing Enterprises on Monday.

The 30-year-old defensive midfielder has died after reportedly suffering a heart attack.

Tiote began his career in his homeland with FC Bibo before moving to Anderlecht as a teenager. He also played under Steve McClaren at FC Twente in the Netherlands before joining Newcastle in 2010 for £3.5m, going on to make almost 150 appearances.

Tiote was also part of the Ivorian squad that won the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Ivory Coast international joined Chinese Super League side Beijing Enterprises in January having spent seven years at St James’s Park with Newcastle United in the English Premier League.

The player’s agent Emanuele Palladino has confirmed the passing of the 30-year-old who is survived by his two children and his wife Madah (who is currently pregnant and expecting their third child later this week).

“It is with deep sadness that I confirm that my client Cheick Tiote sadly passed away earlier today after collapsing in training with his club Beijing Enterprises. We cannot say any more at the moment and we request that his family's privacy be respected at this difficult time,” said Palladino.

A statement from Beijing Enterprises added: “During a routine training session at 6pm today, Ivory Coast player Cheik Tioté suddenly fainted and the club immediately rushed him to hospital, but unfortunately efforts to save him failed and he passed away at 7pm.

“The player’s relatives have been informed. Beijing Enterprises football club expresses its deep sorrow and profound condolences for Mr Tiote’s untimely death.”

Newcastle manager Rafa Benítez has also shared his condolences: “It is with great sadness that I have this afternoon learned of Cheick’s death.

“In the all the time that I have known him, he was a true professional, dedicated and above all, a great man. Our hearts go out to his family and friends at such a sad time.”

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