Cheick Tiote was one of the players who dumped Europe for China. But his new adventure was unfortunately cut short on June 5 when he suffered a heart attack in training with Beijing Enterprise.
With no emergency cardiac equipment on ground, he was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A memorial service for Tiote was held in Beijing on Tuesday. And it was attended by his agent, Beijin Enterprise players and friends including his ex-Newcastle team-mate Papiss Cisse, who plays in China with Shandong Luneng.
The remains of the 30-year-old was flown to Ivory Coast in what was an emotional moment. It arrived at Port Bouet airport in Abidjan, the Ivorian capital with Wilfried Bony helping to carry the casket.
Bony wore a t-shirt emblazoned with Tiote’s face – which read ‘an elephant never dies’.
Also in attendance was former Ivory Coast national team coach Herve Renard. And the president of the Ivorian Football Federation, Augustin Sidy Diallo, also joined to mourn
More pictures below
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