CHEICK TIOTE grew up in extreme poverty to become – for a time – one of the Premier League’s most dominant midfield powerhouses.
He was a generous and polygamous fashion designer and a man who trusted witchdoctors to cure his footballing injuries
Here are seven things to know about the former Newcastle star who tragically passed away aged just 30 while training in China.
1, As a promising player Tiote played street football as a barefoot child and could not afford a pair of football until he was 15.
2, In 2011, while being hampered from playing for Newcastle with a knee, Tiote got permission from Magpies owner Mike Ashley to return to the Ivory Coast to see a witchdoctor.
3, In Tiote’s first two seasons with Newcastle he collected 25 yellow cards in 50 Premier League games – as well as three in four African Cup of Nations matches in 2012.
4, Generous Tiote scored the first penalty in the 8-7 final shoot-out defeat to Zambia but was so devastated by the defeat he handed his runners-up medal to a friend.
5, In 2013 Tiote dodged a prison trip after he was caught with a fake driving license.
The Judge let him off, saying “‘I have no doubt that, using your considerable talent, you will be able to assist others in the community by encouraging them and passing on your skills that way.”
6, In 2014 Tiote’s agent defended his decision to have two wives after it emerged he had one in Newcastle and another in the Ivory Coast.
Jean Musampa said: “I can say that he did get married and that it is his second marriage. This is nothing unusual. He is a Muslim.”
7, Tiote teamed up with Nigerian fashion designer Yusuf Abubakar IN 2014 to launch a clothing line called TIC.
Akubakar said: “Tiote is a really down to earth guy. When I met him I was really star struck but he was really friendly. He often calls me boss.
“I find working with him incredible. He takes on board what I say and it works well.”