Ex-Chelsea star Christian Atsu found dead, Newcastle, other former clubs react

February 18th, 2023 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Former Chelsea star Christian Atsu has been found dead following the devastating earthquake in southern Turkey and northern Syria last week.

The 31-year-old had been missing since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that took place in the early hours of the morning of February 6 – but one of his agents has now confirmed his body had been discovered under the rubble.

Murat Uzunmehmet revealed the devastating news – 12 days since the disaster struck, telling reporters on Saturday: “Atsu’s lifeless body was found under the rubble. Currently, more items are still being taken out. His phone was also found.”

Another of Atsu’s agents – Nana Sechere – also announced the news.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

“The funeral of our football player Christian Atsu, who lost his life under the collapse, is on his way to be sent to his hometown Ghana,’ they said on Twitter – as they blacked out their profile picture.

“We will not forget you, Atsu. Peace be upon you, beautiful person. There are no words to describe our sadness. Rest in peace.”

Atsu’s former club Everton were among the first Premier League sides to pay tribute.

“We are deeply saddened by today’s news that Christian Atsu has been found dead following the earthquake in Turkey earlier this month,” they said.

“Our thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues at Hatayspor and everyone affected by this tragic event that has claimed so many lives.”

Newcastle United – where Atsu spent four years of his career – said Atsu would be ‘fondly remembered’ by everyone at the club.

“We are profoundly saddened to learn that Christian Atsu has tragically lost his life in Turkey’s devastating earthquakes,” they said on social media.

“A talented player and a special person, he will always be fondly remembered by our players, staff and supporters. Rest in peace, Christian.”

Chelsea – Atsu’s first Premier League club – said: “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.”

There were hopes the former winger had been rescued after the disaster first unfolded, but Hatayspor and agent Sechere had revealed over the past week that these claims were untrue.

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OFFICIAL: Newcastle confirm Rafael Benitez departure

June 24th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Premier League club Newcastle have confirmed Rafael Benitez will leave the when his contract expires on June 30.

The 59-year-old had been in talks with club bosses over a new deal for months but they have failed to reach an agreement.

Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley was tasked by owner Mike Ashley to lead negotiations with Benitez, who also turned down a new deal last summer, reports Sky Sports.

The announcement of the Spaniard’s departure is contained in a statement on Monday, which read: “It is with disappointment that we announce manager Rafael Benitez will leave Newcastle United upon the expiry of his contract on 30th June 2019.

“We have worked hard to extend Rafa’s contract over a significant period of time, however it has not been – and will not be – possible to reach an agreement with Rafa and his representatives.

“Rafa’s coaching staff, Paco de Miguel Moreno, Antonio Gomez Perez and Mikel Antia, will also leave the club on 30th June.

“We would like to thank Rafa and his coaching team for their efforts over the last three years and their significant contribution to what has been collectively achieved.

“We would also like to thank our supporters, players and staff for their patience during a period of uncertainty. The process to appoint a successor will now begin.”

Photo Credit: Shields Gazette

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