'It was so unexpected'- Alosie Ehiogu recalls the unfortunate passing of former Tottenham coach Ugochukwu Ehiogu

Five years after the passing of his brother Aloise Ehiogu has continued to keep the legacy of former Tottenham defender Ugo Ehiogu.

Ugo Ehiogu passed away in 2017 at just 44 years old

At the time of his untimely death in 2017, Ugochukwu Ehiogu was a coach, former Premier League defender and pacesetter in the English game. With a name as Igbo as they get, Ehiogu was born and raised in Hackney, London and went on to play a total of 15 years in the English top-flight, representing Aston Villa and Middlesbrough.

Following his retirement in 2009, Ehiogu decided to pass his football knowledge on to the next generation of Premier League stars, taking the reins at Tottenham's youth team in 2014.

At a training session on April 21 2017, Ehiogu slumped and suffered a cardiac arrest, and despite all the efforts of doctors and family members, Ugo, unfortunately, passed on the following morning.

Speaking to British publication The Mirror, Ugo's older brother Aloise recalled the harrowing experience and revealed he did not expect things to escalate as quickly as they did.

“When my sister called me and told me I needed to come to the hospital, I didn’t realise how serious it was until I arrived.

“We had to wait hours and hours to find out what had happened to him. It was so unexpected. I had gone out for a meal and a chat with him a few weeks before, and now he was dead.” Aloise said.

The doctors eventually revealed that Ehiogu had silently suffered from cardiomyopathy, which means that his heart could not function as it should have.As was the case with Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen, Ehiogu could have survived had there been a defibrillator at the Tottenham training ground.

Alosie and his family are keen to ensure that other players do not suffer a preventable death. "In my brother's case, the doctors said he more or less died instantly,

"At the hospital, they brought us into a room and told us they had been massaging his heart and gave him CPR for four hours and it wasn't working," Alosie told The Mirror.

"These teams don’t have the healthy monetary funds that the likes of Premiership teams do so many don't have a defibrillator on their grounds.

"Defibrillators are expensive and we need to train people how to use them which will also cost money. We are hoping people will be generous and help us to reach our target including organisations in the football industry." Alosie said.

Alosie reiterated the importance of defibrillators at football grounds considering how early most players start playing professionally. "From the age of around 12, some sportspeople are training hard every day as they have to be physically fit, and it can take a toll on the body.

"Many now wear monitors that can detect anything concerning but not at a grassroots level so defibrillators are so important," Alosie said.

Ugo might be gone, but his untimely passing could save thousands of other players from suffering the same fate. Ehiogu was 44 at the time of his death.

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