Former Newcastle Midfielder Cheick Tiote Dies at Age 30

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJune 5, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13 :  Cheik Tiote of Newcastle United during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on February 13, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Former Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote has died at the age of 30 after falling unconscious while training with Beijing Enterprises, who signed the player in February 2017.

Reports emerged Monday that Tiote collapsed during training with the Chinese League One club, and Richard Conway of the BBC confirmed the 30-year-old's death via his agent, Emanuele Palladino:

Tiote made 156 appearances for the Magpies over the course of a seven-year spell at St. James' Park, having joined from Eredivisie outfit FC Twente in 2010 for a sum of £3.5 million.

He went on to become a fan favourite in the north-east largely due to his tough-tackling approach and was at one point reportedly courted by Arsenal.

The defensive anchorman had made only 10 appearances for new club Beijing Enterprises, and former Newcastle team-mate Demba Ba was one of the first to express his sadness via social media:

Another former Magpie, Jonas Gutierrez, offered a tribute to Tiote via his official Instagram account:

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Tiote will perhaps be best remembered for the stunning volley he scored against Arsenal in February 2011, when the Magpies thundered back from four goals down to clinch a 4-4 draw by virtue of the Ivorian's strike.

That was the only goal Tiote netted for the English club and one of only four he scored in a 12-year professional career, having also represented Dutch club Roda JC and Belgian outfit Anderlecht as a youngster.