THE body of former Premier league and Malaga star, Christian Atsu, was returned to Ghana on Sunday as announced by their Ministry of Foreign Affairs after being retrieved from amongst the rubble of his home in Antakya, Turkey on Saturday.

Newcastle United V Liverpool Premier League St. James' Park
A Newcastle United fan holds up a sign in memory of Christian Atsu who has died following the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey, before the Premier League match at St. James’ Park, Newcastle upon Tyne. Picture date: Saturday February 18, 2023.

Atsu, who at the time was playing for Hatayspor and living in Turkey, was reported missing during the first 24 hours of the earthquake that has taken the lives of over 40,000 in Turkey. There had been alleged reports that player had been located to a hospital on the 7th of February however sadly Saturday’s news confirmed that he died at his home.

He has been praised not only for his success as a footballer but also for his contributions to charity and being an ambassador for Arms Around the Child.

His previous clubs have expressed their condolences to family, friends and fans of the late footballer and on Saturday Newcastle observed a minute’s silence at St James’s Park before their defeat to Liverpool. Since, a fan group, Talk of Tyneside, have begun a fundraising campaign to support the Ghanian charity Atsu worked so closely with.  

Hatayspor also expressed their sadness at the devastating news, “we will not forget you, Atsu. Peace be upon you, beautiful person. There are no words to describe our sadness”.

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