Newcastle fans reacted with overwhelming compassion on social media on the day that would have been former player Cheick Tioté’s 33rd birthday.
The former Magpies midfielder died aged 30 after collapsing during training in China. At the time, he was playing for Chinese second-tier outfit Beijing Enterprises.
Tiote joined Newcastle in 2010 from Dutch side FC Twente for £3.5 million and went on to make 138 Premier League appearances for the Magpies in a seven-year career.
He started his career with Belgian side Anderlecht before moving to Holland, where he made 86 appearances and won the league title with FC Twente under Steve McClaren. Tiote also made 55 appearances for Ivory Coast and was part of the 2015 squad that was victorious in the Africa Cup of nations.
He only scored one Premier League goal, but it is one that Newcastle fans will remember for a long time. It was the equalising strike in the home game against Arsenal, which the Magpies were 4-0 down in, and his leveller salvaged a point for the team. He also launched his own fashion label in 2014 named TIC.
The defensive midfielder moved to China in February 2017 for £4.5 million but died just a few months later after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Today would have been Cheick Tioté’s 33rd birthday.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) June 21, 2019
Legend. We miss you, RIP❤️
— Sam (@Xsamanthadavis) June 21, 2019
Happy birthday a true warrior
— Gordon Harris (@GordonH40305613) June 21, 2019
What a player and guy he was. Big miss.
— Joe Halliday (@halliday_9) June 21, 2019
Rest in peace big man absolute tank of a man hope you are smashing it up in the heavens #tiote24
— Chris Tatum (@christatum49) June 21, 2019
One of my favourites ❤️
— Max (@maxeroberts_) June 21, 2019
I’m a Geordie who has grown up in Australia and I’ll never forget that goal he scored against Arsenal! ????⚽️
— Stevenlbutcher (@Stevenlbutcher2) June 21, 2019
RIP Toon Legend. X
— The Geordie Boot Boy #NUFC (@BootGeordie) June 21, 2019
Give Miggy the number 10 next season and retire the 24 in honour of Tiote ????
— bigrobnufc (@Robbieo68646502) June 21, 2019