Former Rangers defender Ugo Ehiogu dies, aged 44

Ugo Ehiogu has sadly passed away. Picture: Getty
Ugo Ehiogu has sadly passed away. Picture: Getty
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Former footballer Ugo Ehiogu has died at the age of 44.

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Ugo Ehiogu had a short-spell with Rangers in 2007. Picture: SNS

Ugo Ehiogu had a short-spell with Rangers in 2007. Picture: SNS

The former England international, who had a short spell with Rangers in 2008, collapsed on Thursday with a suspected cardiac arrest.

After falling ill at Tottenham Hotspur’s training centre, where Ehiogu worked as the club’s under-23 coach, he was quickly rushed to hospital.

Tottenham announced his death this morning, saying in a statement: “It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of Ugo Ehiogu.”

The Football Association tweeted it was “devastated to hear the news” and further tributes from the governing body were expected, with England manager Gareth Southgate having played with Ehiogu for both Villa and Boro.

Rangers have since released a statement expressing their condolences.

It read: “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 dief 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.”

Villa released a statement expressing their sadness and added that there would be a minute’s applause ahead of their derby with Birmingham on Sunday, with the teams wearing black armbands.

Lee Hendrie played with Ehiogu at Villa Park and with Sheffield United and told Sky Sports: “This is an absolute shock, to think this could happen to a man of his fitness and age. It is devastating, crazy.

“He was such a character, bubbly and would help anyone. He was a great guy to have around and never had problems with anyone. He was a gentle giant.”

Boro said they were “deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing” and Mark Schwarzer, who played with Ehiogu at the Riverside, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “He loved the game and he was really respected at Tottenham. It was a pleasure to play with him.”

Striker Shayon Harrison, currently on loan at Yeovil from Tottenham, played under Ehiogu in his under-23 side.

“One of the most genuine and caring people I’ve ever met,” he wrote on Twitter.

“An honour to have been taught by you, not only as a player but as a person.”