Fans, players and clubs paid tribute to Peter Whittingham after his death at the age of 35.
(Reuters/Action Images: Ian Smith)
Football fans are mourning the death of former English Premier League player Peter Whittingham, nearly two weeks after he suffered a serious 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 caps, 3 goals)
Whittingham, who retired from playing in 2018, had been in hospital since his accidental fall at a pub in the South Wales town of Barry on March 7.
His long-time club Cardiff confirmed his death in a statement, saying “we are heartbroken”.
“The news of Peter’s sudden and untimely passing has shaken us to our very foundation. Our love goes out to his wife Amanda, their young son and family,” Cardiff said.
“They are at the forefront of our thoughts and, on their behalf, we ask for their privacy to be respected at this unfathomably cruel and difficult time.”
A talented midfielder, Whittingham started his career with Aston Villa and later played 10 years at Cardiff.
During his time at the club they reached an 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 “light up a room” with his humour and personality.
“Then, as a professional footballer — as a Bluebird — he excelled with talent, ease, grace and humility. Nobody did it better.
“The loss of Peter will be painfully felt by our city, supporters and indeed all who ever had the pleasure of knowing him. We love you Pete and your memory will eternally stay with us.”
The news adds to a tough 14 months at the club, after the death of Italian footballer Emiliano Sala, who was on board a plane that crashed in the English Channel off the coast of Guernsey on a flight taking him from France to Wales to link up with Cardiff.
Sala was signed by Cardiff from French club Nantes for 15 million pounds ($29.64 million). His death set off a row between the two clubs over the payment of his transfer fee.
Current and former footballers also paid tribute to Whittingham on social media.
Leicester City and England player James Maddison said he had “the biggest respect for his footballing ability and that wand of a left foot which scored so many free kicks which I absolutely loved watching.”
Juan Pablo Angel tweet: R.I.P Peter Whittingham. Gone far too soon my friend, what a fine left foot #RIP My thoughts are with his family and loved ones in this difficult time #AVFC @AVFCOfficial
Former Aston Villa striker Juan Pablo Angel tweeted: “Gone far too soon my friend, what a fine 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 at Cardiff, joined the tributes.
“Peter was a fantastic footballer and an incredible human being,” he said.
“It’s hard to believe he has been taken from us at such a young age. Peter will be deeply missed and our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.”
Art of Football tweet: ‘A magical left foot and a gentle soul.’ Rest in Peace, Peter Whttingham.