Ivory Coast international Cheick Tiote died on Monday after collapsing during training with Beijing Enterprises, the club confirmed. He was 30.
Beijing Enterprises said the former Newcastle midfielder died about one hour after losing consciousness in training.
“Around 6 p.m., June 5th, 2017, Mr. Cheik Tiote fainted during the normal training session,” a team statement said. “The club immediately sent Tiote to the hospital, but unfortunately, Mr. Tiote died at 7 p.m. in the hospital. The club has already contacted his family.
“Here, Beijing Enterprises Club share our condolence with Mr. Tiote’s family.”
Tiote only moved to China in February after signing with the second-division club from Newcastle. The defensive midfielder spent six-and-a-half seasons on Tyneside, making over 150 appearances while playing in both the Premier League and Championship.
He previously played for Anderlecht in Belgium and Dutch club Twente.
His former teammates expressed condolences on social media as word of his death spread.
We'll never forget you, Cheick. ⚫️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/c8aO6EyW5w
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) June 5, 2017
“We are devastated to have learnt of the tragic passing of Cheick Tioté at the age of just 30. The thoughts of everyone at Newcastle United are with Cheick’s family, friends, teammates and everyone connected with the clubs he represented.
Tiote also made 53 appearances for Ivory Coast and was in the squad that won the 2015 African Nations Cup. He played at the World Cup in both 2010 and 2014.
“I can confirm that my client Cheick Tiote sadly passed away today after collapsing in training with his club Beijing Enterprises,” his agent Emanuele Palladino said in a statement.
“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.”