Newcastle to hold minute's silence for Christian Atsu

Newcastle will hold a minute’s silence in tribute to Christian Atsu before the game with Liverpool tonight after their former player was found dead in rubble in Turkey following devastating earthquake

  • Christian Atsu has been found dead following the earthquake in Turkey 
  • The 31-year-old’s whereabouts were unknown after the disaster on February 6
  • Atsu played for Newcastle, Chelsea and Everton among others during his career

There will be a minute’s silence ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash between Newcastle and Liverpool after former Magpies winger Christian Atsu was found dead in the rubble of the Turkey earthquake.

Atsu’s agent Nana Sechere took to Twitter on Saturday morning to announce the tragic news that Atsu’s body had been recovered 12 days on from the disaster which has claimed more than 40,000 lives.

‘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,’ said Sechere in a post published on Saturday.

‘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.’

There will be a minute’s silence for Christian Atsu before Newcastle take on Liverpool 

Supporters at St James’ Park will get the chance to pay their respects to Atsu on Saturday

Atsu played for Newcastle between 2017 and 2021 and his former club will pay their respects when they host Liverpool on Saturday evening.

He made 121 appearances for Newcastle and was part of the team which won promotion back to the Premier League in 2017 before leaving the club four years later.

Ghana international Atsu, who was 31, had been playing for Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor. 

In a message posted to Twitter, Newcastle said: ‘We are profoundly saddened to learn that Christian Atsu has tragically lost his life in Turkey’s devastating earthquakes.

‘A talented player and a special person, he will always be fondly remembered by our players, staff and supporters. Rest in peace, Christian.’

Atsu also had loan spells at Everton and Bournemouth while contracted to Chelsea.

Reports claim his body will be returned to his native Ghana. 

There were hopes the former winger had been rescued after the disaster first unfolded, but Hatayspor and agent Sechere had revealed over the past week that these claims were untrue.

Several search and rescue operations in the debris of the building where Atsu and Hatayspor’s sporting director Taner Savut lived, took place – with Savut also missing.

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

More than 42,000 people have been killed and thousands more injured in the earthquake, while millions have been left homeless.

Tremors from the deadly quake – which lasted about a minute and could be Turkey’s largest ever – were felt as far away as Egypt, Lebanon and the island of Cyprus.

Atsu had been scheduled to fly out of southern Turkey hours before the quake, but Hatayspor’s manager said on Friday the Ghanaian opted to stay with the club after scoring the game-winning goal in a Super Lig match on February 5.

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