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Sunday 19 November 2017

Tearful Merson struggles to digest Ehiogu death

Ugo Ehiogu won four caps for England during an impressive professional career
Ugo Ehiogu won four caps for England during an impressive professional career

Ugo Ehiogu's death at age of 44 prompted tributes from all over the football world as former team-mate Paul Merson broke down in tears and said "only the good die young".

Former England defender Ehiogu, who was Tottenham's Under-23s coach, collapsed at the club's training centre on Thursday after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Ex-clubs and team-mates have paid tribute to a "gentle giant", whose death was announced by Tottenham yesterday morning.

Ehiogu, who played for Aston Villa and Middlesbrough and was capped by England on four occasions, joined Spurs as a coach in 2014.

He played alongside Merson at Villa and the television pundit broke down on Sky Sports as he watched footage of his friend.

"Billy Joel sings that song, 'Only the good die young' and that is him," he said.

"He was a top player, a top bloke and a good friend as well. I talked to him recently and he was always winding me up, telling me Tottenham had some good players coming through..."

Merson's tribute was cut short as he started to cry.

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