A spokesman for Cheick Tiote has confirmed that the former Anderlecht, FC Twente and Newcastle player has died of a cardiac arrest at the age of 30 while training with his most recent club, Beijing Enterprises.
Tiote's agent confirms death
"I confirm that my client Cheick Tiote sadly passed away today,” Emanuele Palladino said on Monday after initial reports circulated on Chinese media.
Tiote, a member of the triumphant Ivory Coast 2015 Africa Cup of Nations squad, made 52 appearances for his country in a six-year career with The Elephants.
During his spell at Newcastle, for whom he turned out on 156 occasions, Tiote became a fan favourite and his performances for the Magpies saw him linked with several other clubs before a serious knee injury sustained at the Cup of Nations in 2015 rued him out for the remainder of the 2015-16 season.
Tiote joined Beijing Enterprises in February of this year and made 11 appearances for the China League One side.
Tributes pour in for Cheick Tiote
The football world was quick to react to the deeply saddening news, with many clubs and players posting messages through social media.
Newcastle United said that the club is 'devastated' to hear of the news.
There were also messages from Tiote's former team-mates at both club and international level, including Ayoze Perez, and Vincent Kompany.
I am speechless and so incredibly sad. Cheick Tioté was one of the nicest and toughest teammates I have ever had. Rest in peace brother.— Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) June 5, 2017
I can't belive it. No words. I am broken. RIP Cheick— Ayoze Perez (@AyozePG) June 5, 2017
Sin palabras, no puedo creerlo... descansa en paz amigo pic.twitter.com/aJzoBaP9YV
Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer also spoke of his sadness on Twitter.
Devastating news of the death of Cheick Tiote. RIP. ⚫⚪— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) June 5, 2017