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Christian Atsu dies age 31 after devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria

Christian Atsu dies age 31 after being found in the rubble of a building he lived in following devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

The former Premier League footballer has been confirmed dead, with fans and clubs paying tribute across the world.

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake which occurred in the early hours on February 6th, and he had been missing ever since.

His club Hatayspor initially claimed that his voice was heard and that he was rescued “with injuries” – but a day later that position changed, causing plenty of confusion.

Atsu had been set to fly out of southern Turkey hours prior to the disaster struck, however, Hatayspor’s manager said the Ghanaian opted to stay with the club after scoring the game-winning goal in a Super Lig match on February 5th.

Over 42,000 people sadly lost their lives, and thousands more were injured in the aftermath of the disaster. Millions have also been left without homes.

Fans can donate here: DEC Turkey-Syria earthquake appeal | British Red Cross

Although there had been hopes that the the winger would be rescued, his club Hatayspor, and agent Nana Sechere revealed this week that the claims were sadly false.

Many search and rescue operations were conducted in the rubble of the building where Atsu, Hatayspor’s sporting director Taner Savut lived with Savut also reported missing.

Sechere spoke on Tuesday about Atsu’s exact ‘room location’ and even two pairs of his shoes had been located.

Murat Uzunmehmet, another agent of Atsu, confirmed that he was found beneath the rubble on Saturday, 12 days following the earthquake.

Uzunmehmet told reporters: ‘Atsu’s lifeless body was found under the rubble. Currently, more items are still being taken out. His phone was also found.’

A statement from the representative of Atsu, Nana Sechere, said: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to announce to all well-wishers that sadly Christian Atsu’s body was recovered this morning.

“My deepest condolences go to his family and loved ones.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support.

“I ask that whilst we make the necessary arrangements, that everyone would please respect the privacy of the family during this very difficult time.”


Atsu began his professional career in Porto, where he won Primeira Liga. Atsu joined Chelsea in September 2013, but he never played for the Premier League club in his four-year tenure.

Atsu spent time at Vitesse and Everton before moving to Newcastle in May 2017. After his Newcastle contract expired, Atsu signed for Al-Raed Saudi Arabian club in July 2021.

Atsu was also an international player. Atsu scored nine goals in 65 Ghanaian appearances. His last cap came in 2019, when he was part of the Ghana team that reached the final of Africa Cup of Nations 2015. His side lost to the Ivory Coast on penalties.

Atsu was the star at the 2015 AFCON. 

Social media users paid tribute as Christian Atsu dies age 31 after devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria…

@SamBailey24: RIP Christian Atsu and all victims of this tragedy πŸ’” Heartbreaking #NUFC

@IrishGeordie1: Rest in peace Christian Atsu. Top professional and came across as one of the most genuinely nice guys in the game. Did a lot of charity work and did a lot for the people of Ghana. Sad that a person that did so much good in the world could go in such a tragic way πŸ’” #NUFC

@SpewingMagpie: Absolutely heartbreaking. God Bless you Christian Atsu #NUFC

Oh Christian Atsu
He is so wonderful
When he scores a goal
Oh it’s beautiful, magical
When he runs down the wing he is fast as lightning
It’s frightening
And he makes all the boys sing
RIP Christian Atsu ❀️ #NUFC

@eddiemack5: As a player, always seemed like Christian Atsu was there when #NUFC needed it most. That free kick vs. Cardiff. His performance vs. Rotherham. Seemed like he was a wonderful person. Always so positive. Love and strength to his family. RIP.

@chloe_wrightoxo: Christian Atsu being found dead this morning has really ruined this Saturday morning 😒 What a good little player he was for us πŸ’”πŸ–€πŸ€ #NUFC

@Garrysnaith61: Let’s get a big win in honour of the late Christian Atsu, along with The great Sir Bobby Robsons birthday #nufc

@AndrewIves4: Devastating news on Atsu, always gave his all to NUFC and was a fantastic bloke. Thoughts go out to his young family, let’s play our respects at the game later πŸ™πŸ–€πŸ€

@KalElChrisNufc: @ChristianAtsu20 what a shock to the Newcastle United Fans R.I.P Atsu you will never be forgotten & will always be a Newcastle United legend 😒😒😒

@PaulMacL1: Great footballer, what a tragic end. RIP Christian Atsu @NUFC

@LCasey27: Once a Geordie always a Geordie…RIP Christian Atsu πŸ–€πŸ€ #NUFC

@linzi1989: I would love if we could hold an applause for Christian Atsu to remember him today before kick off. My heart goes out to his entire family and his kids!! RIP you wonderful human being πŸ–€πŸ€ #nufc #RIP

@Jayb1970NUFC: Absolutely devastating news! My thoughts and prayers are with Christian’s family! Once a Geordie always a Geordie RIP Christian πŸ˜₯πŸ™πŸ–€πŸ€ #atsu #nufc

@DanielleNUFC: RIP Christian Atsu. My thoughts are with his children. One of us, taken far too soon. Gutted #NUFC

@PercyArmsDisco: Atsu song all game today? What rotten news #NUFC

@Stevenparker78: Totally devastated for his family was a great guy ,player and father and husband RIP Christian Atsu gone but never forgotten will always be in my thoughts anyway goodnight and God bless

@KarlMuirhead: RIP Atsu. It might be a nice thing if we had a minutes applause in the 30th minute for him today! His partner and kids still live in Newcastle. I am sure it would mean the world to them #NUFC

@AmeelouNufc: RIP Atsu, absolutely devastating what a lovely bloke he was. Did so much for his community this is not fair at all. I loved him at Newcastle πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€ Forever a mag rest in peace 😭😭😭 #NUFC #ChristianAtsu #RIP

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