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Football in mourning as former Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote dies aged 30

Tributes are pouring in on Twitter as former Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote has died after collapsing during a training session in China.

The 30 year-old was playing for Chinese second division side Beijing Enterprises, whom he joined in February, and was rushed to hospital following the incident in training, before being pronounced dead.

Tiote's spokesman Emanuele Palladino said: "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.

"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."

Tiote moved to St James' Park from FC Twente in 2010 and made 161 appearances for the Magpies, scoring once - the equaliser when Newcastle recovered from 4-0 down to draw 4-4 with Arsenal in 2011.

He earned 52 caps for Ivory Coast, playing at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, while also helping his country to the African Nations Cup final in 2012, where they lost to Zambia.

Former Newcastle team-mates paid tribute on Twitter with former Magpies goalkeeper Steve Harper writing: "Gutted to hear the awful news about my former teammate Cheik Tiote today. Thoughts with his friends and family."

Jonas Gutierrez added: "Sad news. Always going to be remember our time together at #nufc RIP my friend."

Siem de Jong tweeted: "Terrible news, R.I.P. Tiote. Always enjoyed sitting next to you in the dressing room my friend."

And Ex England defender Sol Campbell said: "So sad to hear of CHEICK TIOTE death. I had the privilege in playing with him at Newcastle what miss to his family and friends great man!"

In April, Tottenham youth coach Ugo Ehiogu died at hospital after collapsing at the club's training centre, aged just 44.

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