Ugo Ehiogu's death deprives football of a thoughtful, intelligent man who loved to inspire the new generation

Former England and Aston Villa defender Ugo Ehiogu dies at 44 after suffering a cardiac arrest
Ehiogu loved the thrill of working with youngsters willing to learn and understood their ambitions Credit: Getty Images

At St George’s Park in November, when Gareth Southgate was preparing his England squad for a World Cup qualifier against Scotland, his old Aston Villa and Middlesbrough team-mate Ugo Ehiogu was just down the corridor at the Football Association headquarters, pursuing his own career.

That day at St George’s Park, Ehiogu was one of around 40 academy coaches convening for a FA course on best practice, all of them kitted out, as is the convention, in the tracksuits of the clubs for whom they worked. Ehiogu was no different in his Tottenham Hotspur colours, but as the most famous former professional of the group by some considerable distance he stood out from the crowd.

482637600 #RIPUgo - Football remembers Ugo Ehiogu

He stopped to chat about the new job and the challenges of developing young footballers in the highly-regulated, highly-competitive world of academy football. It had changed since his days as a boy from north-east London on the...

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