Ian Wright leads emotional Arsenal tributes to Kevin Campbell after death aged 54

Kevin Campbell
-Credit: (Image: Professional Sport/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

A number of former footballers have paid their tribute to former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell, who has died at the age of 54.

Campbell had been taken to hospital after falling ill earlier this month. The news of his passing came on Saturday morning when Campbell's management posted on X (formerly Twitter): "Wow this one really hurts. Rest easy KC a true friend and gentleman. Thoughts with Kev's 2 boys and the rest of his family."

Messages of tribute from Arsenal, his former club Everton, as well as the wider football community, poured in. Campbell's former Arsenal teammate Ian Wright reacted to the news by posting nine crying emojis before sharing pictures beside the former striker during their days at Arsenal.

Paul Merson and Tony Adams who shared the dressing room with Campbell were also among the tributes. Merson wrote: "RIP! Devastating news… top bloke, great player, absolute gentlemen. Thoughts are with his family."

Arsenal, who also paid their tribute, wrote: "We are devastated to learn that our former striker Kevin Campbell has died after a short illness. Kevin was adored by everyone at the club. All of us are thinking of his friends and family at this difficult time. Rest in peace, Kevin."

Adams added: "Super Kev: a goal machine, a giant of a man, with an even bigger heart. An intensely private and a truly wonderful human being. I’m devastated for his loved ones, and all of us. Love you Super Kev, Skipper."

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Newcastle legend Alan Shearer meanwhile, shared Arsenal's post and commented: "Oh nooooooo. RIP Big Man." Former Everton striker added: I am so devastated to hear the news of the passing of Kevin Campbell The nicest man you could wish to meet and a fantastic player. Thoughts to his friends and family…. RIP Kev."

The former Premier League star came through Arsenal's academy, joining them at the age of 18. He went on to make 210 appearances for the Gunners, scoring 55 goals across a 10-year stint.

Campbell later arrived at Goodison Park on loan from Turkish side Trabzonspor in 1999. With Everton's Premier League status at risk, he led the Toffees to safety, scoring nine goals in five games.

Everton wrote: "Everyone at Everton is deeply saddened by the death of our former striker Kevin Campbell at the age of just 54. Not just a true Goodison Park hero and icon of the English game, but an incredible person as well - as anyone who ever met him will know. RIP, Super Kev."