Former Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote passed away this week afree suffering a heart attack at new club Beijing Enterprises F.C. training ground.
The club released a statement saying that he suddenly ‘fainted’ and that his death was tragic.
Tiote moved to Newcastle from Fc Twente in 2010 and was regarded by fans and coaches as a humble and hard-working player. Tiote played as a defensive midfielder and was renowned for his endless stamina and tackling like a certain N’Golo Kante.
When asked about his tackling, he would respond with a shy smile and say:
“Football is a contact sport”
He made 139 appearances for Newcastle and score just the one goal but he made the one goal, a goal to remember. Newcastle had been 4-0 down at half-time but had scored there goals in the second-half before Tiote scored with a 25-yard thumping volley after a ball came out of the box and Tiote sent his left foot crashing down on the ball making perfect contact, the game would end 4-4.
He had some wonderful seasons at Newcastle and was one of the top midfielders in the league. Manchester United were rumoured to have been interested in him at one stage. He would have been a wonderful Manchester United signing and would have complemented Michael Carrick and Paul Scholes very well, with his no-nonsense style he would have recycled possession and added grit to the team.
Tiote will always be in the heart of Newcastle fans and probably football fans in general. He displayed an enthusiasm whether he played or not, an enthusiasm that some players lack.
He showed so much enthusiasm in training that all of his Newcastle managers told him to calm down. Above all, he showed a commitment to the clubs he played for, one thing is for sure Tiote played for the joy of football and not the money.
Here are a selection of some of the tributes on social media from clubs, fans and footballers alike:
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) June 5, 2017
Devastating news of the death of Cheick Tiote. RIP. ⚫⚪
— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) June 5, 2017
😭😭😭 may Allah gives grant you jannah brother Tiote 😭😭😭
— Demba Ba (@dembabafoot) June 5, 2017
Un guerrier , un amoureux du football , un Champion !!!! Que ton âme repose en paix Tioté Cheik Ismael 💔💔💔 pic.twitter.com/izVFD0l4r7
— Gervinho (@GervinhOfficial) June 5, 2017
Very sad to hear of the death of Cheick Tioté. Rest in peace, Cheick 🙏🏼😞🇨🇮
— Franck Ribéry (@FranckRibery) June 6, 2017
Awful news, so sorry to hear about Cheick Tioté, my thoughts are with his family and friends
— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) June 5, 2017
Completely devastated and saddened by the death of cheick tiote…why now Bro…Rest Well pic.twitter.com/ak8x2iAH7F
— ASAMOAH GYAN (@ASAMOAH_GYAN3) June 5, 2017
RIP Cheick Tiote. On the pitch he was an absolute beast in his prime and gave us some great memories 💙 so sad. pic.twitter.com/YvXBTcBThN
— The True Geordie (@TrueGeordieNUFC) June 5, 2017
Awful news about Cheick Tiote. At his best, he was a warrior on the field. Never one to shirk a tackle. Quiet, even shy, off the pitch. RIP.
— Miles Starforth (@milesstarforth) June 5, 2017
And here is that wonderful strike again: