Tottenham cancel all academy matches after Ugo Ehiogu death

Samuel Lovett
Ugo Ehiogu coached Tottenham's Under-23 team: Getty

Tottenham Hotspur have cancelled all their academy matches for the coming weekend following the tragic passing of Under-23 coach Ugo Ehiogu at the age of 44.

The Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Sheffield United defender, who retired in 2009, collapsed at Tottenham’s training centre on Thursday after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Ehiogu, who made four appearances for England between 1996 and 2002, received medical treatment on site before being transferred to hospital by ambulance but later passed away in the early hours of Friday morning.

Tottenham later announced that their scheduled academy fixtures for this weekend will no longer take place.

“In light of this morning’s sad news, we have taken the decision to cancel all academy matches over the weekend,” a club statement read.

Ehiogu is survived by his wife, Gemma, and their son.

A previous statement, released by Tottenham on their Twitter account, said: “Ugo received immediate treatment after suffering a cardiac arrest at the training centre yesterday before being transferred to hospital, where he passed away in the early hours of this morning.

“The club sends its deepest condolences to Ugo’s family.

“Gemma has specifically asked that the family are given privacy at this difficult time.

“We should also like to place n record our thanks to all the medical professionals including those at North Middlesex University Hospital, Royal Brompton Hospital and Harefield Hospital for their care and support.”

The former defender was labelled "irreplaceable" by Tottenham's head of coaching and player development, John McDermott.

McDermott added: “Words cannot express the shock and sadness that we all feel at the club. Ugo’s immense presence will be irreplaceable. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his wife Gemma and his family.”

Born in Homerton, London, Ehiogu joined the West Bromwich Albion academy and made his first professional appearance for the Baggies in 1989, before joining Villa where he went on to make 237 league appearances for the club between 1991 and 2000.

Aston Villa defender Ugo Ehiogu holding the trophy after their victory over Leeds United in the Coca Cola League Cup Final at Wembley stadium. Aston Villa won 3-0 (Getty Images)

He moved on to Middlesbrough where he spent seven years at the Riverside, making 126 league appearances, during a spell that also included a loan with Leeds United, before wrapping up his career at Rangers in Scotland and Sheffield United.

Ehiogu’s England debut came in a substitute appearance against China in 1996, and his one and only international goal came against Spain in a friendly at Villa Park in February 2001.

After moving into coaching following his retirement, Ehiogu was part of Peter Taylor’s England Under-20 coaching set-up, before taking up a role with the Tottenham academy in July 2014.

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