Leeds United head coach Garry Monk leads tributes to Ugo Ehiogu

Ugo Ehiogu.
Ugo Ehiogu.
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GARRY Monk led the Leeds United tributes to former Whites defender Ugo Ehiogu who tragically died today aged 44.

Ehiogu, who was Tottenham’s Under-23s coach, collapsed at the club’s training centre yesterday after suffering a cardiac arrest.

The centre-back will be best remembered for enjoying almost a decade with Aston Villa but the defender also spent two months on loan at Leeds from Middlesbrough from November 2006 until January 2007.

The former England centre-back made six starts for United and scored on his second appearance in a 2-2 draw at home to Barnsley.

“Extremely sad news,” said Whites head coach Monk, from his personal Twitter account. “Sending my sincere condolences to his family and friends. Rest in peace, Ugo Ehiogu.”

Former Whites striker Noel Whelan, who played alongside Ehiogu at Middlesbrough, Tweeted: “Devastated at the loss of my friend and team mate Ugo, my thoughts and love go to gem and the family.”

Ex-Whites defender Dominic Matteo Tweeted: “So sad to hear of the passing of Ugo Ehiogu, god bless, a top man and top player. Thoughts are with his family and friends #RIP #ugoehiogu”

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 again in 1996 when Villa beat Leeds.

The defender joined Middlesbrough for a then club-record £8m 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.

But knee injuries plagued the final years of Ehiogu’s career at the Riverside Stadium.

Ehiogu joined Leeds on loan in 2006, and also had short spells with Rangers and Sheffield United before he retired from football in 2009.

The former defender then joined Spurs as a coach in 2014.