Ugo Ehiogu's hearse leaves the church in Highgate, London

The funeral of former Midlesbrough and Aston Villa defender Ugo Ehiogu took place in London on Wednesday.

Former Middlesbrough and Aston Villa defender Ehiogu died last month at the age of 44 after collapsing at Tottenham’s training centre. He was working as the club’s U23s coach and suffered a cardiac arrest.

The service took place at the St Michael’s church in Highgate and among those in attendance were England manager Gareth Southgate, Ledley King, Dwight Yorke, Dion Dublin, Pat Jennings, Gary Mabbutt and his former Villa boss Ron Atkinson.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor was also present along with Ian Wright, Brian Little and members of the Tottenham academy squad.

Southgate gave a speech at the service and Little, who managed Ehiogu for four years at Villa until 1998, said: “Gareth spoke unbelievably well about him, about some of the funny things about him.

Gareth Southgate spoke movingly about his former team-mate

“Ugo was very fussy with his food. Gareth hit on how he would order something off the menu, but he’d want it without that, without that, without that and without that and done a different way. And he did: he was very fussy about pre-match meals.

“He was just fussy; he wanted everything to be spot-on. That was a nice reminder, something that opened that little box in your brain. Gareth knows him better probably than most people. He spoke so wonderfully well about him.

“At Villa Park a few weeks back Ian Taylor and I were in complete bits. Certainly hadn’t got over it. Seeing the response (at the service) it almost lifts you to a point.”

Dublin, who playing alongside Ehiogu at Villa, said: “I won’t make it (without crying).

“If the words were in the dictionary of how to do your job then his name would be in it, with a picture of Ugo’s face in it. On and off the field he did it right. As a father, as a parent, he did it right.

“The service was beautiful, as I expected. Ugo’s way. Done right, everything was on time, all the people he wanted there were there. I’ll miss him.”

A fundraising page set up in Ehiogu’s memory has raised more than £23,000 towards funding an equal opportunities charity, giving youngsters access to football.

Ehiogu had been working with Tottenham's U23 squad prior to his death

His widow Gemma Ehiogu said: “Ugo’s dream was to set up a charity that gives every child equal opportunity to access and play football.

“He had already put the wheels in motion. This fund will make his dream become a reality. We don’t have a set target every donation will help.”

A final tweet from Ehiogu went viral after the news of his death, with people from across the world promoting #dosomethingkind when it emerged Ehiogu had used the hashtag after giving £10 to a homeless girl.

Source; SkySports

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