Former Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote passes away

Former Newcastle United midfielder, Cheick Tiote, passed away on Monday after he collapsed while training for Chinese second-division club, Beijing Enterprises. He was 30.

The Ivory Coast international made more than 150 appearances during his seven years at Newcastle United.   -  AP

Former Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote has died at the age of 30, his Chinese club Beijing Enterprises have confirmed.

Tiote collapsed at the team's training ground on Monday and was taken to hospital, where he passed away after emergency treatment.

"At 6pm on June 5, Cheick Tiote fell unconscious to the ground during training," read Beijing Enterprises' statement.

"He was immediately taken to hospital but unfortunately died at 7pm on June 5. We have informed his relatives of his death.

"After joining Beijing Enterprises on February 5, 2017, Tiote made great contributions to the club and received plaudits for his superb skills and professionalism from coaching staff and team-mates.

"We hereby express our sincere condolences for Tiote's unfortunate death."

He had joined Beijing Enterprises, a second-tier team in China, in February of this year after spending six-and-a-half years with Newcastle.

The Premier League club released a statement which read: "We are devastated to have learnt of the tragic passing of former Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote in China today."

Newcastle's manager, Rafael Benitez, added: "It is with great sadness that I have this afternoon learned of Cheick's death.

"In all the time that I have known him, he was a true professional, dedicated and above all, a great man.

"Our hearts go out to his family and friends at such a sad time."

Tiote's representative Emanuele Palladino said in a statement given to Sky Sports: "It is with deep sadness that I confirm that my client Cheick Tiote sadly passed away earlier today after collapsing in training with his club Beijing Enterprises.

"We cannot say any more at the moment and we request that his family's privacy be respected at this difficult time.

"We ask for all your prayers."

Prior to joining Newcastle, Tiote played for Anderlecht in Belgium and for Dutch sides Roda JC and Twente.

Tiote won two league titles with Anderlecht and one with Twente.

He was an Ivory Coast international who represented his country at World Cups in 2010 and 2014.

Tiote also played in four editions of the Africa Cup of Nations and was part of the squad which triumphed in 2015.

A number of former team-mates immediately paid tribute to Tiote, including Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Jonas Gutierrez and Vincent Kompany.

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