The footballing world was in shock at the beginning of June, when former Newcastle United star Cheick Tiote passed away. Spokesman Emanuele Palladino confirmed that the midfielder, who moved to Chinese side Beijing Enterprises in February, collapsed after a training session. There was an outpouring of sadness with managers and players, past and present, offering their condolences and sharing stories about the Ivory Coast player.
Born in 1986, Toite made his professional footballing debut with Belgium’s Anderlecht. He helped the Dutch side FC Twente win the Eredivisie and then went on to sign for Newcastle United, where he became a firm favourite with the club’s fans and professionals alike. He spent over seven years at Newcastle before finally moving to Beijing Enterprises.
Tributes from the World of Football
After the sad news was announced, football’s familiar faces were quick to express their shock. Newcastle United tweeted that they were devastated, whilst his former Magpies team mates shared the same solemn mood. Newcastle United keeper Tim Krul said Tiote was one of his favourite teammates, whilst Rob Elliot affectionately called him ‘cheeky-man’ and an absolute warrior.
Current captain, Jamaal Lascelles, said that none of the team could believe the news and that there were no words to express his sadness. Newcastle manager Rafael Benetiz continued the tributes by stating that Tiote was a true professional and a great man.
Steve McClaren, who managed Tiote at Newcastle and FC Twente, described him as the toughest player he had ever seen and as a ‘warrior’ who could play too. He added that even though he was ferociously competitive, Tiote was the kind of player that everyone wanted in their team and had the most beautiful smile in football.
After his death was reported, companies offering shirt printing, such as https://www.kitking.co.uk/, received multiple requests to have Tiote’s name printed onto their football team kits. At his military funeral, which took place in his home country of the Ivory Coast, Ivorian Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly paid his respects alongside several others dignitaries (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/40314352). Former teammates from all over the globe were in attendance, including some who shared the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations win with him.
Although reports have suggested that a heart attack was the cause of death, an official confirmation has yet to be released.