Fabrice Muamba said people should ‘cherish life’ after the death of Ugo Ehiogu, because Ehiogu’s fatal heart attack was a fate he so nearly shared.
In a post on Twitter, he said: “Yesterday I lost my friend Germaine Mason. This morning Ugo Ehiogu passed through heart attack. Cherish life, it’s promised to no-one.”
In March 2012, Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup match between Bolton and Tottenham Hotspur during which his heart stopped for 78 minutes.
Ehiogu collapsed at Tottenham’s training centre, where he worked as the club’s under-23 coach, on Thursday after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Tottenham said “It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of Ugo Ehiogu,”
Ehiogu, who played for Aston Villa and Middlesbrough and was capped by England on four occasions, 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.
Ehiogu’s caring nature became further apparent from the final tweet sent from his Twitter account.
Gave a homeless girl £10 last night in Dalston.She didn't ask or beg.Random impulsive act from me. Not gona lie. Felt good. #dosomethingkind
— Ugo Ehiogu (@UgoEhiogu) March 29, 2017
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.
He won the League Cup with Villa in 1994 and 1996 and former team-mate Andy Townsend told Radio 5: “I remember the 3-0 win over Leeds (in 1996) and I looked at the pictures this morning. Ugo is in them celebrating.
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, and also had short spells with Rangers and Sheffield United before he retired from football in 2009.