Tributes paid to former Rangers and England defender Ugo Ehiogu who has died aged 44

Ugo Ehiogu in action for Rangers (Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)
Ugo Ehiogu in action for Rangers (Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)

FORMER Rangers and England defender Ugo Ehiogu has died aged 44.

The 44-year-old, who was working as an under-23 coach for Tottenham Hotspur, was rushed to hospital yesterday after collapsing on a training field.

Spurs announced his death this morning, saying in a statement: “It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of Ugo Ehiogu.”

Ugo Ehiogu (Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Ugo Ehiogu (Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

The defender made nine appearances for Rangers in the 2007-2008 season, famously scoring an overhead kick in an Old Firm match.

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

Spurs’ head of coaching and player development, John McDermott, said: “Words cannot express the sadness that we all feel at the club. Ugo’s immense presence will be irreplaceable.

“Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his wife Gemma and his family.”

Spurs also added their thanks to the North Middlesex University Hospital, Royal Brompton Hospital and Harefield Hospital.

Rangers also released a statement saying: “Rangers Football Club is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of former defender Ugo Ehiogu.

“The 44-year-old Englishman joined the Light Blues when Walter Smith returned as manager in 2007 and made a huge impact in his short time in Glasgow – notably his winning goal at Celtic Park in the derby.

“He died after suffering a heart attack at Tottenham’s training ground and everyone associated with the club sends their sincere condolences to Ugo’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

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.

He joined Leeds on loan in 2006 before heading to Ibrox. and he also had a short spell at Sheffield United before he retired from football in 2009.