Cheick Tiote Cause of Death: Former Newcastle Player Collapsed During Training Session in China

Cheick Tiote
Ivory Coast's player Cheick Ismael Tiote answers questions during a news conference at the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia, June 18, 2014. Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

Former Newcastle United and Ivory Coast player Cheick Tiote collapsed and died during a training session in China Monday. The 30-year-old was training with the Chinese second-tier side Beijing Enterprises, which he joined just four months ago, when he collapsed and was taken to hospital. He later died after receiving emergency treatment.

After a flood of reports on social media, Tiote's agent confirmed the news.

"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," Emanuele Paladino said, according to Sky Sports News.

"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."

Reports have suggested Tiote suffered a heart attack. His wife was said to be expecting a baby this week.

Prior to joining the Chinese club, Tiote spent more than six years at English Premier League side Newcastle, where he established himself as a fan favorite with a series of committed midfield performances. He is best remembered for a stunning long-range goal in February 2011 to complete a famous comeback for Newcastle from 4-0 down to draw 4-4 with Arsenal. It was his first and only goal for the North-East club.

Tiote's former manager at Newcastle United, Rafa Benitez said: "It is with great sadness that I have this afternoon learned of Cheick's death. In the 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."

Before his stay on Tyneside, Tiote made a name from himself in Europe, first in Belgian with Anderlecht and then more notably in the Netherlands with FC Twente, which he helped to win its first ever league title. After representing Ivory Coast in the 2010 World Cup, he earned a transfer to Newcastle and went on to make almost 150 league appearances.

He also played more than 50 times for his country, including at the 2014 as well as the 2010 World Cup. He was a part of the Ivory Coast team that won the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Some of his former teammates quickly took to social media to express their shock and condolences.

This story has been updated to include further reaction.

Cheick Tiote Cause of Death: Former Newcastle Player Collapsed During Training Session in China | Sports