Ugo Ehiogu

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Ugo Ehiogu
Ugo Ehiogu.jpg
Ehiogu in 2013
Personal information
Full name Ugochuku Ehiogu[1]
Date of birth (1972-11-03)3 November 1972[1]
Place of birth Hackney, London, England
Date of death 21 April 2017(2017-04-21) (aged 44)
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[1]
Playing position Centre back
Youth career
Senrab
0000–1989 West Bromwich Albion
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1991 West Bromwich Albion 2 (0)
1991–2000 Aston Villa 237 (12)
2000–2007 Middlesbrough 126 (7)
2006–2007 Leeds United (loan) 6 (1)
2007–2008 Rangers 9 (1)
2008–2009 Sheffield United 26 (1)
2012 Wembley 0 (0)
Total 406 (22)
National team
1992–1993 England U21 15 (1)
1994 England B 1 (0)
1996–2002 England 4 (1)
Teams managed
2014–2017 Tottenham Hotspur (Under 23s)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Ugochuku Ehiogu (/ˈɛhiɒɡ/; 3 November 1972 – 21 April 2017) was an English professional footballer who played as a centre back from 1989 to 2009. He was the coach of the Tottenham Hotspur U23 team until his death in April 2017.

He played in the Premier League with lengthy spells at Aston Villa and Middlesbrough. He also played in the Football League for West Bromwich Albion, Leeds United and Sheffield United, as well as a spell in the Scottish Premier League with Rangers. He won two Football League Cups, with Aston Villa in 1996 and then with Middlesbrough in 2004. Ehiogu was an England international, with a record of 4 caps and 1 goal. In 1993, playing for the England under-21 team, he became the first black player to captain an England team in a competitive match. In 2012, he came out of brief retirement by signing for non-league side Wembley to participate in the club's FA Cup games alongside other retired veteran players.

Ehiogu died on 21 April 2017 after suffering a cardiac arrest at Tottenham Hotspur's training ground.

Club career

Early life

Ehiogu was born in Hackney, London,[1] into a family of Nigerian background.[2] He began his career at West Bromwich Albion as a trainee, turning professional in 1989.[3]

Aston Villa

After just a few games for Albion in the Second Division, Ron Atkinson brought him to First Division club Aston Villa for a £40,000 fee in August 1991.[4] By 1994, he had replaced Shaun Teale as the main central defensive partner to Paul McGrath.

In the 1993-94 season Villa played Tranmere Rovers over two legs in the semi final of the League Cup in which Ehiogu took part in the second leg. Ehiogu was selected as a substitute and came on to replace Ray Houghton during the game helping the team to a 3-1 win leaving the two legs at 4-4 on aggregate. In the following penalty shootout he went on the take the 5th penalty which he struck against the bar and missed.[5] Ron Atkinson had told The Independent newspaper that it was "the most dramatic football match" of his managerial career.[6] Villa went on to win the shoot out for a League Cup showdown with Manchester United which Ehiogu missed out on.

In the 1994-95 season Villa competed in the UEFA Cup where in the second round second leg in a match against Turkish club Trabzonspor Ehiogu scored in the 90th minute in a 2-1 home win. However this wasn't enough as Trabzonspor won 2-2 on aggregate knocking Villa out of the competition.[7]

He was part of the Villa team that won the 1995–96 Football League Cup, as Villa beat Leeds United 3–0 in the final.[8] Ehiogu also won a runners-up medal when Villa lost 1–0 to Chelsea in the 2000 FA Cup Final.[9]

He remained at the club for nine years, making over 300 appearances in all competitions until November 2000 when he joined Middlesbrough from Villa for, at the time, a club record fee of £8 million.[10] The deal went ahead after negotiations between Villa and West Bromwich Albion, whose 50% sell-on clause on the player had been seen as a stumbling block to the move.[11]

Middlesbrough

His career at Boro got off on the wrong foot when he was forced to limp off with a calf injury five minutes into his debut at Charlton Athletic.[12] Whilst at Middlesbrough, Ehiogu quickly became a mainstay in the central defence since joining the club and rejoining his former teammate Gareth Southgate in central defence. He missed the start of the 2003–04 season with a knee injury sustained in the final match of the previous season.[13][14] He returned in time to play in Boro's League Cup final win against Bolton Wanderers, the first major trophy in the club's history.[15] Only into the third game at the start of 2004–05 season Ehiogu had an accidental clash with his own keeper Mark Schwarzer which resulted in knee ligament damage.[16] Again he was forced to miss many important games, although Boro still managed to secure a place in the UEFA Cup for a second successive season.

He agreed a loan move to West Bromwich Albion during the January transfer window of 2006,[17] but this move was cancelled when a number of Middlesbrough players became injured.[18] West Brom then tried to secure a permanent transfer, but were unable to agree personal terms with Ehiogu.[18]

On 23 November 2006 he moved to Leeds United on loan.[19] He made six appearances and scored one goal against Barnsley[20] and also an own goal against Stoke,[21] during his spell at Leeds, which ended in January 2007 when his loan deal expired.[22] After returning to Boro, he made one final appearance for the club.[23]

Rangers

Ehiogu was released from his contract at Middlesbrough and signed an 18-month contract with Scottish Premier League club Rangers in January 2007.[22] His first goal for Rangers came in March 2007 with a spectacular overhead kick in his first Old Firm game, giving Rangers a 1–0 win against Celtic.[24] The Rangers fans voted for Ehiogu's goal against Celtic as their Goal of the Season.[25]

Ehiogu found his first team opportunities limited at the start of the 2007–08 season, with Carlos Cuéllar and David Weir being preferred by manager Walter Smith. He was released by Rangers that January.[26]

Sheffield United

On 16 January 2008 it was reported that Sheffield United were interested in signing Ehiogu.[27] The next day he was released by Rangers and travelled down to Sheffield for talks with club manager Bryan Robson.[28] He completed the move on 18 January 2008.[29] Ehiogu made his first team debut for the Blades in a 1–1 home draw with Watford at the end of January,[30][31] and was used a defensive cover for the remainder of the season.

With injuries and suspensions to his fellow defenders in the early stages of the following season he forced his way into the first team and was rewarded with what turned out to be his only goal in Blades colours, scoring the winner against Preston North End in October 2008.[32] Having embarked on his most successful spell for United he suffered an injury in the Boxing Day game against Wolves which sidelined him for the rest of the season. After the Blades failed to gain promotion, Ehiogu was released at the end of the season when his contract expired as the club tried to cut costs.[33]

On 3 August 2009, Ehiogu retired from football after a trial with Milton Keynes Dons.[34]

Wembley

On 24 August 2012 Ehiogu came out of retirement to sign for Wembley F.C., agreeing to play in the club's FA Cup games alongside fellow former professionals Ray Parlour, Martin Keown, Claudio Caniggia, Brian McBride and Graeme Le Saux.[35] Ehiogu played alongside Caniggia in the club's 2–2 draw with Uxbridge F.C. in the preliminary round.[36] Wembley subsequently lost the replay 5–0.[37]

International career

In April 1993, Ehiogu became the first black player to captain an England team in a competitive match, in a game for the England U21 team against the Netherlands.[38] Ehiogu made his senior England debut on 23 May 1996, replacing Tony Adams after 76 minutes of a 3–0 friendly win against China at the Workers' Stadium in Beijing.[39] He went on to win another three caps in friendly matches and scored once for his country, a header in a 3–0 victory over Spain on 28 February 2001 at Villa Park.[40]

Coaching career

Ehiogu worked with the England under-20 football team in 2013 and was part of Peter Taylor's coaching team at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup.[41]

Following a period working part-time with the Tottenham Hotspur Academy,[42] Ehiogu was appointed under-21 team (subsequently reclassified as U23) coach as part of Tottenham Hotspur F.C. Academy in July 2014.[43][44] Writing after he had suffered a heart attack, Henry Winter noted that Ehiogu "is one of the most thoughtful English coaches, frequently talking eloquently about the need for English football to have a more distinct culture and commit more to age-group tournaments so that senior internationals of the future can experience differing styles".[45]

Personal life

Ehiogu married Gemma Coleman in 2005.[46][47] The couple had a son, Obi Jackson, together, and a daughter, Jodie, with his ex-partner.[46] After retiring, Ehiogu founded his own record label, Dirty Hit.[46][48]

Death

On 20 April 2017, Ehiogu collapsed due to a cardiac arrest at the Tottenham Hotspur training ground and was taken to hospital,[49] where he died early the next morning at the age of 44.[46][49] In the aftermath, it was announced that Ehiogu's widow Gemma would set up a charity in his honour. She used social media site JustGiving with the aim of raising £1,000 to start the charity. By 24 April, the appeal had raised £11,000.[50] In the days following Ehiogu's death, many clubs held tributes to him in the form of a minute's applause before matches, in which players wore black armbands.[51]

Honours

Aston Villa
Middlesbrough

References

  1. ^ a b c d Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2009). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2009–10. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. p. 135. ISBN 978-1-84596-474-0. 
  2. ^ Shaw, Phil (21 April 2017). "Ugo Ehiogu, obituary: former Aston Villa and England defender who went on to coach at Tottenham". Retrieved 6 June 2017. 
  3. ^ de Menezes, Jack (21 April 2017). "Ugo Ehiogu dead: Former England and Aston Villa footballer dies, aged 44". The Independent. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  4. ^ "My Villa Dream Team: Ugo Ehiogu ultimate XI". Aston Villa FC. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  5. ^ "Aston Villa 3 Tranmere Rovers 1 - Coca Cola Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg - 27th Feb 1994". Retrieved 22 April 2017. 
  6. ^ Simon Hart (21 January 2013). "Aston Villa can take heart from when they beat Tranmere in 'the most dramatic match'". The Independent. Retrieved 22 April 2017. 
  7. ^ "Aston Villa UEFA Cup history 1994-95". UEFA.com. Retrieved 22 April 2017. 
  8. ^ a b "Milosevic gives; Villa a touch of magic". The Independent. 25 March 1996. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  9. ^ "Chelsea claim FA Cup glory". BBC News. BBC. 20 May 2000. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  10. ^ Thomas, Russell (23 October 2000). "Robson's £8m gamble falls flat". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  11. ^ "Villa agree Ehiogu sell-on fee". BBC Sport. 13 August 2000. Retrieved 16 August 2007. 
  12. ^ "Ehiogu out for three weeks". BBC Sport. 23 October 2000. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  13. ^ "Ehiogu boost for Boro". BBC Sport. 21 July 2003. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  14. ^ "Southgate relief for Boro". BBC Sport. 26 September 2003. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  15. ^ a b "Boro lift Carling Cup". BBC Sport. BBC. 29 February 2004. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  16. ^ "Middlesbrough suffer Ehiogu blow". BBC Sport. 18 January 2005. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  17. ^ "Ehiogu poised for Baggies return". BBC Sport. 9 January 2006. Retrieved 16 August 2007. 
  18. ^ a b "West Brom end interest in Ehiogu". BBC Sport. BBC. 18 January 2006. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  19. ^ "Leeds clinch Ehiogu loan signing". BBC Sport. 23 November 2006. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  20. ^ "Leeds 2–2 Barnsley". BBC Sport. 2 December 2006. Retrieved 1 September 2009. 
  21. ^ Azam, Amar (1 January 2007). "Stoke City 3 Leeds United 1: Leeds stare into abyss as errors from Ehiogu gift Stoke points". The Independent. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  22. ^ a b "Ehiogu completes move to Rangers". BBC Sport. 25 January 2007. 
  23. ^ "Middlesbrough Football Club Pays Tribute To Carling Cup Hero Ugo Ehiogu". Middlesbrough Football Club. 21 April 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  24. ^ "Celtic 0–1 Rangers". BBC Sport. 11 March 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  25. ^ "Hemdani Named Player of the Year". Rangers.co.uk. 16 April 2007. [permanent dead link]
  26. ^ McDougall, Mark (20 April 2017). "Former Rangers defender Ugo Ehiogu in hospital after collapsing during Tottenham U23 training". Daily Record. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  27. ^ "Blades interested in Ehiogu move". BBC Sport. 16 January 2008. 
  28. ^ "Ehiogu in Blades talks". Sky Sports website. 17 January 2008. 
  29. ^ "Ehiogu completes move to Blades". BBC Sport. 18 January 2008. 
  30. ^ "Sheffield Utd vs Watford". Sheffield United F.C. 29 January 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2008. 
  31. ^ "Blades 1–1 Watford". BBC Sport. 29 January 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2008. 
  32. ^ "Sheff Utd 1–0 Preston". BBC Sport. 25 October 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2008. 
  33. ^ "Blackwell begins reshaping Blades". BBC Sport. 28 May 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2009. 
  34. ^ "Dons delighted as Puncheon returns". MK Citizen. 3 August 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  35. ^ "Another legend signs for Wembley". Wembley F.C. 24 August 2012. Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  36. ^ Street, Tim (27 August 2012). "Ex-Aston Villa and Middlesbrough man makes comeback with Wembley". Harrow Observer. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  37. ^ Cahill, Chris. "The journey has ended but the dream is still on". Total Football Magazine. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  38. ^ Winter, Henry (27 April 1993). "Football: Young England do their seniors a service". The Independent. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  39. ^ "England Record". Englandstats.com. 17 April 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  40. ^ "Sven's England off to winning start". BBC Sport. 28 February 2001. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  41. ^ Daily Mail, The Footballers Football Column Retrieved 18 October 2013
  42. ^ "Ugo Ehiogu hopes that Rooney rule will come into English football". Sky Sports. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  43. ^ Under 21s Appointment THFC website, Accessed 25 July 2014
  44. ^ "Obituary - Ugo Ehiogu". Tottenham Hotspur F.C. 21 April 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  45. ^ Winter, Henry (21 April 2017). "Football rallies behind fine defender with potential to be visionary coach". The Times. p. 72. 
  46. ^ a b c d "Ugo Ehiogu: Former England defender dies after suffering cardiac arrest". BBC Sport. 21 April 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  47. ^ Dawson, Alan (21 April 2017). "44-year-old Premier League coach dies after suffering heart attack on training ground". Business Insider UK. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  48. ^ In The Stands, Whatever happened to Ugu Ehiogu Retrieved 18 October 2013
  49. ^ a b Hytner, David (21 April 2017). "Ugo Ehiogu dies after suffering cardiac arrest, Tottenham Hotspur confirm". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  50. ^ "Widow aims to start charity in Ugo Ehiogu's name". BBC News. 24 April 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017. 
  51. ^ "Ugo Ehiogu: Football pays tribute after former England defender's death". BBC Sport. 22 April 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017. 

External links

  • Ugo Ehiogu at Soccerbase
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