Memorial service for Cheick Tiote has been held in Beijing following his tragic cardiac arrest last week.
Tears were shed by family and friends at the emotional service for the father of three, who played over 100 games in the Premier League for the Toon before moving to Asia.
Tiote was just 30 when he tragically passed away from a cardiac arrest last week
Many of these players surrounded Tiote – who was reportedly expecting a fourth child – and tried to assist with the first-aid efforts to revive him at the training complex.
One of those present, defender Jin Hui, wrote in a post on social media platform WeChat Moments: “He just collapsed right in front of me. I still cannot believe this.”
The service was attended by a tearful Papiss Cisse, a former team-mate at Newcastle who currently plays his football in China for Shandong Luneng.
Other former team-mates flew out following his death last Monday, as did his agent Emanuele Palladino.
Family members of Tiote in tears after his untimely passing
Fans outside carried a banner saying “RIP” with Tiote’s face and chanted his name, while soldiers saluted the fallen footballer.
Last week members of an official fan club visited the Beijing side’s stadium to lay flowers on the pitch in a brief ceremony.
Tiote only moved to China in February having left Newcastle, playing a handful of games.
“We are in pain and very, very sad to see him die at such a young age. There would definitely be a silent tribute.”