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Former Villa defender passes away at age 44

Rest in peace, Ugo.

Ugo Ehiogu  of Aston Villa

At age 44, Ugo Ehiogu has passed away following a situation in which the former Villa defender and current Tottenham Hotspur coach collapsed at the London club’s training ground on Thursday.

It was later revealed that Ehiogu suffered from a heart attack, and sadly passed away following a cardiac arrest incident in the early hours of Friday morning.

Ugo was signed for Villa in the early 90’s having come through the West Bromwich Albion academy. At age 23, he replaced Shaun Teale at the back and partnered arguably the greatest Villa player of all time: Paul McGrath. After making nearly 250 appearances for Aston Villa - he moved up north to Middlesbrough and following that he had spells at Leeds, Rangers and Sheffield United before retiring in 2009, ending a playing career that lasted twenty years. He also made four appearances for the England national football team.

Ugo Ehiogu of Aston Villa

I am running out of words to use to describe death - having covered the passing of both Dalian Atkinson and Graham Taylor for this website. Do I use Villa legend again? Do I say ‘rest in peace big man’ once more? Unfortunately, it feels like I’m saying the same things over and over again - but for good reason. While Taylor’s impact at Villa will never be denied - both Atkinson and Ehiogu stole the hearts of the Villa faithful with their personalities and a work-ethic that saw them never give up. This news feels a lot similar to the news of Atkinson’s passing, bar of course the circumstances. Both players were not just liked, by Villa - they seem to have been absolutely loved. 44? It’s no age to pass away. That being said - not many players have enjoyed a near full career at the top of the game, but Ugo did.

In fact, a lot of good things came after Ugo’s retirement. The record label he helped found, Dirty Hit, achieved success thanks to the popularity of The 1975, a band that was signed by the label. Other artists such as Wolf Alice, Benjamin Francis Leftwich and Superfood are signed with Dirty Hit - making it quite the bastion of Indie talent in the UK. Ugo also coached with England, and Tottenham Hotspur

Unfortunately, I was too young to remember Ugo’s time at Villa, but it came at a good time. The Villa teams of the 90’s seemed fun - and thankfully because of numerous sources including fond memories and ancient video games, those teams are immortal.

Immortal, just like Ugo’s reputation in B6 and the memories of his time with the Villa. Rest in peace, Ugo.