Last Updated: 05/06/17 5:21pm
Newcastle United and manager Rafa Benitez led the tributes after the news that Cheick Tiote had died at the age of 30 in China.
Tiote left St James’ Park last February to join Beijing Enterprises, and he was training with the second division club when he collapsed on Monday morning.
He spent seven seasons on Tyneside, and a statement from the club read: “We are devastated to have learnt of the tragic passing of Cheick Tiote at the age of just 30.
“The thoughts of everyone at Newcastle United are with Cheick’s family, friends, teammates and everyone connected with the clubs he represented.
“Cheick cemented his place in Newcastle folklore with his dramatic equaliser in the 4-4 draw against Arsenal in February 2011.”
Benitez said: “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, talented, and above all, a great man. Our hearts go out to his family and friends at such a sad time.”