Fans, players and clubs paid tribute to Peter Whittingham after his 35-year-old death.
(Reuters / Action images: Ian Smith)
Football fans are mourning the death of former English Premier League player Peter Whittingham, almost two weeks after suffering a severe head injury in a fall.
Peter Whittingham: 1984-2020
- 2003-07: Aston Villa (56 games, 1 goal)
- 2005: Burnley on loan
- 2005: Derby County on loan
- 2007-2017: Cardiff City (459 games, 98 goals)
- 2017-18: Blackburn Rovers (20 games, 0 goals)
- 2004-07: England under 21 side (17 appearances, 3 goals)
Whittingham, who retired from playing in 2018, had been in the hospital since his accidental fall in a pub in the city of Barry, South Wales, on March 7th.
His longtime club Cardiff confirmed his death in a statement, saying “we are heartbroken.”
“The news of Peter’s sudden and untimely death shook us to our very foundations. Our love is passed on to his wife Amanda, their young son and family,” said Cardiff.
“They are at the forefront of our thoughts and, in their name, we ask that their privacy be respected in this unfathomably cruel and difficult moment.”
A talented midfielder, Whittingham started his career with Aston Villa and later played 10 years in Cardiff.
During his stint at the club they reached a FA Cup final and a League Cup final, and won promotion to the EPL.
He also played for England’s under-21 team.
Cardiff described Whittingham as a “family man” who could “illuminate a room” with his humor and personality.
“So as a professional footballer – like Bluebird – he excelled with talent, ease, grace and humility. Nobody did better.
“Peter’s loss will be painfully felt by our city, supporters and everyone who has ever had the pleasure of meeting him. We love you Pete and your memory will remain eternally with us.”
The news adds to the hard 14 months at the club, after the death of the Italian footballer Emiliano Sala, who was on board a plane that crashed into the English Channel off the coast of Guernsey on a flight that took him from France to Wales to connect with Cardiff.
Sala was signed by Cardiff from the French club Nantes for £ 15m ($ 29.64m). His death resulted in a dispute between the two clubs for the payment of his transfer fee.
Current and former players have also paid tribute to Whittingham on social media.
Leicester City and England player James Maddison said he had “the greatest respect for his footballing prowess and that left foot wand that scored so many free kicks that I loved seeing.”
Tweet by Juan Pablo Angel: R.I.P Peter Whittingham. Gone too soon my friend, what a beautiful left foot #RIP My thoughts are with his family and loved ones in this difficult moment #AVFC @AVFCOfficial
Former Aston Villa striker Juan Pablo Angel tweeted: “Gone too early my friend, what a beautiful left foot #RIP My thoughts are with his family and loved ones in this difficult time. #AVFC”.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who worked with Whittingham in Cardiff, joined the tributes.
“Peter was a fantastic footballer and an incredible human being,” he said.
“It is difficult to believe that it was taken away from us at a young age. Peter will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with his family in this very sad moment.”
Tweet of Art of Football: “A magical left foot and a kind soul”. Rest in peace, Peter Whttingham.
ABC / AP