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C. Atsu

Hundreds attend Christian Atsu's funeral in Ghana as they pay respects to ex-Newcastle United midfielder tragically killed in Turkey earthquake

07:53 GMT 18/03/2023
Christian Atsu funeral
The funeral of Christian Atsu has been held in his home nation of Ghana following his tragic death in the earthquake that hit Turkey in February.

Hundreds of people, including Ghana's president and the manager of the Ghanaian national football team Chris Houghton, attended the state funeral of footballer Christian Atsu in Accra on Friday.

Atsu's body was recovered from the rubble of his apartment building a fortnight after the earthquake that devastated Turkey and Syria and, having been returned to Ghana, he will be buried in his home village in the south-eastern region of the nation.

His widow, Marie-Claire Rupio, read an emotional speech as she was joined in mourning by hundreds of people close to Atsu.

"In life I love you darling, in death I'll do the same," the reading began. "You did not go alone, for part of me went with you. Your smile, your love I see in our children's smiles."

Sport Minister Mustapha Ussif also spoke, saying: "Even at the peak of his career, Astu remained himself and was never overtaken by pride, arrogance or indiscipline. His legacy will remain as an inspiration."

Atsu's playing career saw him spend time in the Premier League with clubs including Chelsea, Newcastle United and Everton.

His career eventually took him to Turkey, with Atsu having scored a last-minute winning goal for Hatayspor against Kasimpasa the day before the earthquake struck.

He made 65 appearances for Ghana, and was part of the squad that reached the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final, with Atsu having been awarded goal and player of the tournament.