Tottenham Hotspur’s academy players, along with the football community, have been rocked by the news that Ugo Ehiogu has died at the age of 44.
The retired defender, who played for Aston Villa and Middlesbrough during his playing career, passed away in the early hours of Friday morning.
Ehiogu worked as Tottenham’s Under-23 coach for the past three years, and during a training session on Thursday he had a cardiac arrest and collapsed.
After receiving treatment at the training base, he was transferred to hospital, but devastatingly was unable to recover.
Emotional tributes have been paid by many figures and football fans, but some of the most heartfelt have come from the players that had been taught or were currently learning from Ehiogu.
Anton Walkes, Charlie Owens, Keanan Bennetts, Samuel Shashoua, Shayon Harrison, Kyle Walker-Peters, Joshua Onomah and Luke Amos were among those to pay their respects.
You were like father figure to us all. Thank you for everything you've taught us on & off the pitch. RIP Ugo, you will be missed ????????❤️ pic.twitter.com/xZPkgPSFV0
— Kyle Walker-Peters (@KyleLPeters) April 21, 2017
One of the most genuine, and caring people I've ever met.
An honour to have been taught by you, not only as a player, but as a person.
— Shay (@ShayonHarrison) April 21, 2017
Way more than just a coach, a father figure as well! Done so much for all of us boys. RIP Ugo. See you soon ❤️❤️❤️???? https://t.co/3K3c5Glfaz
— Joshua Onomah (@Joshuaonomah10) April 21, 2017
I'll never be able to thank you enough for all the time you invested in me to become a better footballer and man… Rest in peace Ugo Ehiogu pic.twitter.com/omX17loKxF
— AW (@AntonWalkes) April 21, 2017
Lost for words. Thank you for everything Ugo????????❤️ pic.twitter.com/8aWtEdU33g
— Luke Amos (@Luke_Amos1) April 21, 2017
more than a coach, looked after me like I was one of ur own and gave me strength when Most needed; love u and will forever miss u, amen❤???????????? pic.twitter.com/fDPks1ls4B
— Keanan Bennetts (@kbennetts_11) April 21, 2017
— Charlie Owens (@charlie97owens) April 21, 2017
RIP Ugo, an amazing, genuine person who was always smiling and making others smile , you will be missed massively. Thanks for everything ❤️ pic.twitter.com/oB8kwfqiq9
— Samuel Shashoua (@Sam_shash) April 21, 2017
Ehiogu played for West Bromwich, Rangers and Sheffield United in his career, but he spent most of it representing Aston Villa and Middlesbrough.
The defender made more than 350 appearances, and won the League Cup twice with Villa and again on Teesside.
Ehiogu, who won four England caps, leaves behind a wife and two children.