Ex-Newcastle United player found dead under rubble after Turkey quake

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By James Kay

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Christian Atsu, a former Newcastle United soccer player, has been found dead under the rubble of his collapsed home in Turkey following a devastating earthquake.

Atsu, 31, who played for the Antakya side Hatayspor, was previously been misidentified in the aftermath of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake as being alive with injuries.

Sadly, the Ghanaian player's body was recovered this morning nearly two weeks after the first devastating earthquake hit the region, per Sky News.

The news was confirmed by his agent Nana Sechere who gave a heartfelt state via Twitter. "It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to announce to all well wishers that sadly Christian Atsu’s body was recovered this morning," Sechere began.

"My deepest condolences go to his family and loved ones. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support," he concluded while asking that Atsu's loved ones have their privacy respected at this difficult time.

Atsu was a beloved player around the world but had a special relationship with the Premier League side Newcastle United as he quickly became a fan favorite.

He initially joined the league with Chelsea in 2013 after signing from the Portuguese side Porto and after a series of loan moves that included Bournemouth, Everton, and Vitesse he joined Newcastle on loan in 2016 before signing permanently the following year, per BBC News.

The star would make 121 Premier League appearances, with 107 of those being for Newcastle where he scored eight goals. The club has paid tribute to their former player.

"We are profoundly saddened to learn that Christian Atsu has tragically lost his life in Turkey's devastating earthquakes," the statement began. "A talented player and a special person, he will always be fondly remembered by our players, staff and supporters. Rest in peace, Christian."

The talented player also represented Ghana on the international stage, scoring nine times in 65 appearances.

Atsu was due to fly out of Turkey that evening as he looked to sign for a new club in France, but decided to stay after scoring a game-winning free kick in stoppage time for Hatayspor just hours before the earthquake struck, as reported by Sky News.

The manager of Hataysport Fatih Ilek told Turkish radio yesterday, via Sky: "Atsu wanted to play more and asked for permission from his coach to leave if he wasn't going to get it.

"He bought a ticket to fly to Istanbul, and from there to France. He was going to look for a club to get more playing time."

Tributes have been pouring in for Atsu, including from his former club Chelsea, which penned: "Everyone at Chelsea Football Club is devastated to learn of the tragic passing of our former player, Christian Atsu. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends."

A statement on the Premier League Twitter account read: "We are deeply saddened by the news Christian Atsu lost his life in the devastation of the earthquakes that have hit Turkey and Syria. Our thoughts and condolences are with Christian's family and friends and everyone affected by this tragic event."

Atsu is survived by his wife Marie-Claire Rupio Atsu and their three children. Our thoughts are with them at this devastating time.

Featured image credit: News Images / Alamy

Ex-Newcastle United player found dead under rubble after Turkey quake

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

Christian Atsu, a former Newcastle United soccer player, has been found dead under the rubble of his collapsed home in Turkey following a devastating earthquake.

Atsu, 31, who played for the Antakya side Hatayspor, was previously been misidentified in the aftermath of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake as being alive with injuries.

Sadly, the Ghanaian player's body was recovered this morning nearly two weeks after the first devastating earthquake hit the region, per Sky News.

The news was confirmed by his agent Nana Sechere who gave a heartfelt state via Twitter. "It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to announce to all well wishers that sadly Christian Atsu’s body was recovered this morning," Sechere began.

"My deepest condolences go to his family and loved ones. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support," he concluded while asking that Atsu's loved ones have their privacy respected at this difficult time.

Atsu was a beloved player around the world but had a special relationship with the Premier League side Newcastle United as he quickly became a fan favorite.

He initially joined the league with Chelsea in 2013 after signing from the Portuguese side Porto and after a series of loan moves that included Bournemouth, Everton, and Vitesse he joined Newcastle on loan in 2016 before signing permanently the following year, per BBC News.

The star would make 121 Premier League appearances, with 107 of those being for Newcastle where he scored eight goals. The club has paid tribute to their former player.

"We are profoundly saddened to learn that Christian Atsu has tragically lost his life in Turkey's devastating earthquakes," the statement began. "A talented player and a special person, he will always be fondly remembered by our players, staff and supporters. Rest in peace, Christian."

The talented player also represented Ghana on the international stage, scoring nine times in 65 appearances.

Atsu was due to fly out of Turkey that evening as he looked to sign for a new club in France, but decided to stay after scoring a game-winning free kick in stoppage time for Hatayspor just hours before the earthquake struck, as reported by Sky News.

The manager of Hataysport Fatih Ilek told Turkish radio yesterday, via Sky: "Atsu wanted to play more and asked for permission from his coach to leave if he wasn't going to get it.

"He bought a ticket to fly to Istanbul, and from there to France. He was going to look for a club to get more playing time."

Tributes have been pouring in for Atsu, including from his former club Chelsea, which penned: "Everyone at Chelsea Football Club is devastated to learn of the tragic passing of our former player, Christian Atsu. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends."

A statement on the Premier League Twitter account read: "We are deeply saddened by the news Christian Atsu lost his life in the devastation of the earthquakes that have hit Turkey and Syria. Our thoughts and condolences are with Christian's family and friends and everyone affected by this tragic event."

Atsu is survived by his wife Marie-Claire Rupio Atsu and their three children. Our thoughts are with them at this devastating time.

Featured image credit: News Images / Alamy