Ugo Ehiogu dead: Football pays tribute as former Aston Villa and England footballer dies aged 44

The former Villa, Middlesbrough and England defender and Tottenham coach collapsed on Thursday at the club’s training ground

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Football is paying tribute to Ugo Ehiogu after he tragically died of a heart attack aged 44.

The former Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and England defender and Tottenham coach collapsed on Thursday at the club’s training ground.

And a short statement confirmed the news on Friday morning.

"We can confirm that Ugo Ehiogu is currently in hospital after collapsing at our Training Centre earlier today. Our Under-23’s coach received immediate treatment on site from our medical staff before being transferred to hospital by ambulance. Everyone at the Club sends their best wishes to Ugo and his family."

England led the tributes tweeting: "We're devastated to hear the news that Ugo Ehiogu has passed away. Our thoughts and sympathies are with all lucky enough to know him."

Villa echoed those sentiments: "We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of our former defender Ugo Ehiogu. Our thoughts are with his family at this terribly sad time."

Stan Collymore played alongside Ehiogu for Villa and revealed he was only in contact with him a matter of weeks ago. 

"Only spoke to Ugo a month ago. Be in a happy place big man, will never forget you pal. Rest in peace big un."

Ugo Ehiogu scores for England in 3-0 win against Spain

Fellow former teammate Mark Bosnich added: "RIP Ugo Ehiogu..tremendous player..and even better man..words can't do justice how sad I am."

Chris Sutton added: "Really upsetting news about Ugo Ehiogu .Football has lost a great player and a great man. Thoughts go out to his family. RIP Ugo," while Joey Barton said: Just seen the Ugo Ehiogu news. Shocked and saddened. To think he was on the training ground yesterday. Thoughts are with his loved ones."

Darren Anderton said: "Dreadful news about @UgoEhiogu. Such a great guy. Thoughts go out to his family," while Rio Ferdinand added "can't believe the news that Ugo Ehiogu has passed away. Calm & warming vibe when in his company. My heart goes out to his family!"

Ehiogu began his career as a trainee at West Brom before he was taken to Villa by Ron Atkinson in 1991.

He went on to feature in more than 300 matches for Villa and played in their FA Cup final defeat against Chelsea in 2000.

Ehiogu joined Middlesbrough for a then club-record £8million fee later that year, and in 2001 he scored his only goal for England in Sven Goran-Eriksson's first game in charge, a 3-0 friendly victory against Spain.

Knee injuries plagued the final years of Ehiogu's career at the Riverside Stadium.

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Ehiogu enjoyed his most successful years at Villa (Getty)

He joined Leeds on loan in 2006, and also had short spells with Rangers and Sheffield United before he retired from football in 2009.

Ehiogu subsequently moved into coaching and had been with Tottenham for the past three seasons as part of the coaching set-up.

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