On Monday we learned some truly devastating news as former NUFC midfielder Cheick Tiote tragically passed away at the age of 30, following a heart attack whilst training for his new club in China.
The news has not only left the whole of Newcastle United in mourning, but sent shockwaves through the entire footballing world, with tributes flying in from across the globe from all who knew him.
Cheick was a warrior on the field and a obsessional trainer off it, but above all else a fun loving man who was clearly adored by so many of his former teammates.
Here we pay tribute to Tiote, celebrating his greatest moments at Newcastle United:
His monstrous debut
Tiote signed from FC Twente for £3.5m in August 2010 and a month later made his Newcastle United debut in a 1-0 win at Goodison park. Upon signing I knew next to nothing about the Ivorian midfielder, but 90 minutes after watching him for the first time, I was sure we’d picked up a gem of a player.
The game may be remembered for Hatem Ben Arfa’s long range winner, but Tiote’s outstanding debut display was equally impressive.
He single handedly bossed the midfield that day, recovering the ball on endless occasions, winning his battles and if I remember rightly, he did not misplace a single pass all game. Without doubt one of the most impressive all-round defensive-midfield performances of the last decade at NUFC.
The goal that will go down in history
His last minute wonder goal to complete the 4-4 comeback from 4-0 down against Arsenal was single handedly the best moment I’ve every experienced at SJP.
It was Tiote’s one and only goal at the club over his six and a half year stay, but one that will go down in Premier League history:
Manchester United masterclass
January 2012. Cheick Tiote’s superb season had seen him linked with a big money moves to the Chelsea and Manchester United.
That month, he then produced one of his greatest performances in black and white, helping Newcastle to a 3-0 win over the very team tracking him – Manchester United.
Wayne Rooney didn’t get a kick:
Cheick Tiote & Yohan Cabaye – a match made in heaven
Our 5th place finish in 2011/12 was a special season. The class of Coloccini at the back, the match winning ability of Hatem Ben Arfa and the goal machines that were Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse were highlights, but the midfield duo of Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye was perhaps our biggest asset.
They were a match made in heaven and were quite possibly the best central midfield partnership in the Premier League that season.
— Lee Robson (@LeeRobson23) June 5, 2017
THAT disallowed goal
It seems when Tiote scored, he only did wonder goals!
This should’ve been the equaliser in a game we went on to lose 2-0 at home to Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City. I’ve never went so delirious after a goal that ended up being chalked off!
His competitive edge and will to win
So many of his tributes make reference to what a formidable opponent and fierce competitor he was.
These clips show just how much it meant to him..
Putting everything on the line for his team
Following his death, Steve McClaren desribed Tiote as the ‘toughest player’ he had ever seen.
This footage highlights this quite perfectly – he’d do whatever it took to win that ball back:
If ever a video summer up Cheik Tiote… pic.twitter.com/VqkLV4ndqr
— NUFC Online (@NUFC_Online) February 6, 2016
— NUFC Online (@NUFC_Online) June 6, 2017
Tiote’s time for the fans
This clip shows Tiote being presented with an award for Player of the Year by ‘Toon Army Dallas’, after the Ivory Coast defeated El Salvador 2-1 in a pre-World Cup friendly in Frisco, Texas.
Tiote was said to be shy off the pitch, but this precious footage shows how he always had time for his adoring Newcastle fans:
Rest in peace, Cheick. Taken before your time, but remembered with fond memories by us all here at NUFC.