Monday 18 December 2017

'Devastated for Ugo, a great friend' - Paul McGrath leads tributes following sudden death of Ehiogu

Paul McGrath has paid tribute to Ugo Ehiogu
Paul McGrath has paid tribute to Ugo Ehiogu

Harry Clarke

Paul McGrath has paid tribute to his former centre-half partner at Aston Villa, Ugo Ehiogu.

Ehiogu (44) collapsed at Tottenham's training centre on Thursday after suffering a cardiac arrest and passed away early this morning.

"Devastated for Ugo, a great friend. Heart goes out to his family and friends .RIP #villahero," wrote McGrath on Twitter.

McGrath formed a centre-half partnership with Ehiogu with the pair playing together from 1990 until the Irishman's departure in 1996 after Villa won the League Cup.

The Football Association Of England also paid tribute to Ehiogu.

The tribute on the official @England Twitter account read: "We're devastated to hear the news that Ugo Ehiogu has passed away. Our thoughts and sympathies are with all lucky enough to know him."

Ehiogu's former club Villa, for whom he played more than 300 games, tweeted: "We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of our former defender Ugo Ehiogu.

"Our thoughts are with his family at this terribly sad time."

The club added: "We will be holding a minute's applause before our derby with @BCFC...

"Both sets of players will wear black armbands as a mark of respect."

His former Villa team-mate Lee Hendrie told Sky Sports News: "To find out he has passed away, it must be devastating for his family.

"Ugo was such a character. He has always been that bubbly character.

"He was just a great guy to have around."

Ehiogu's former club Middlesbrough tweeted: "MFC are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of our former player Ugo Ehiogu. Our thoughts go out to Ugo's friends and family."

Tottenham forward Shayon Harrison, who was coached by Ehiogu at the club, added his own tribute.

Harrison, who is on loan at Yeovil, wrote: "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. ðð½UE"

Former Tottenham and England defender Sol Campbell tweeted: "One of my East London mates of old. Ugo Ehiogu true defender my heart goes out to his family. I just can't believe it!"

Ehiogu's former club West Brom, where he began his career, tweeted: "The thoughts of everyone at #WBA are with the family and friends of Ugo Ehiogu, who started his career at The Hawthorns. Rest in peace."

Rangers, another of Ehiogu's former clubs, said in a statement: "Rangers Football Club is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of former defender Ugo Ehiogu.

"The 44-year-old Englishman joined the Light Blues when Walter Smith returned as manager in 2007 and made a huge impact in his short time in Glasgow - notably his winning goal at Celtic Park in the derby.

"He died after suffering a heart attack at Tottenham's training ground and everyone associated with the club sends their sincere condolences to Ugo's family and friends at this difficult time."

Stoke manager Mark Hughes played against Ehiogu and remembered what it was like to face the defender on the pitch.

Hughes said: "He was a big strong guy, a big athlete, and you knew when you went up against him it was always going to be a difficult game. That is why, when these things happen, it is even more shocking, because you remember them in their prime. It is a real shame."

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