Cheick Tiote, full name; Cheick Ismaël Tioté was an Ivorian footballer who played as a defensive midfielder. He won the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast national team but had an international career that included playing in Europe for a Dutch team, FC Twente.
He was, however, more known for his rather lengthy stint at English club Newcastle United. The newly promoted English Premier League club, Newcastle United, had Cheick Tiote for seven years before he left in February to join China League One side Beijing Enterprises.
On 5 June 2017 Cheick Tiote suffered a cardiac arrest and died during training in Beijing. Fans of Newcastle United and the late player have started an online petition to get the club to retire the jersey number 24 worn by the former player.
The petition which calls on fans to back the move says;
“In the light of the legends death, The shirt number should be retired in honor of his life. A Newcastle legend taken too soon.
Get your friends and family to sign. Share on social media. Let’s show Tiote how much we loved him.”
Dan Brad began the petition which now has 2,716 supporters as at the time of writing this article. The comment section that contains the reasons people have for signing the petition is an outpouring of love for the late footballer.
Here are a few tributes to Cheick Tiote that we found especially moving;
“Tiote was the best tackler since Bobby Moncur
His equalizer for the 4 4 was one of the few bright moments in the pre-Rafa era
Let his family find some answers and let him rest in peace
Only two weeks ago I was talking to a Congolese boy he had bought trainers for as he did many things for his community and ours in the North East
A great man a great loss
Retire the 24 shirt in his honor”
“In his day he literally touched every grass of the pitch. He played with such passion and pride. Love and respect for him from Newcastle fans of Bangladesh.”
“Awesome midfielder who saw the ball and went for it…yellow and red cards aside, he was magic and I regretted he left us and now am dumbstruck that he is no longer on this earth. God bless him and sincere best wishes to his family.”
“Love the club loved Cheick and think he deserves to be our last and most loved number 24”
“This guy had the heart, soul, and smile of a true soldier, he will be sadly missed even though I am an Arsenal fan and he scored one of the best goals of all time in the prem. Rip … Gone but never forgotten”
“We need to stop and think about what great players do for us rather concentrating on the next big signing all the time. Cheick gave us everything rip”
RIP Cheick Tiote. If you wish to sign the petition you can go here.