Former Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova dies aged 45

Vilanova resigned in July 2013 after a relapse of parotid gland cancer. Photo: PA

Former Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has died of throat cancer at the age of 45.

Vilanova led the Catalan club for a season after taking over from Pep Guardiola, but was forced to resign last summer because of ill health.

Barca said in a statement: "The club expresses their deepest condolences over the passing of Tito Vilanova , who died today in Barcelona at the age of 45."

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The FC Barcelona is in immense mourning. Tito Vilanova has died at the age of 45. May he rest in peace

Vilanova, a former midfielder who spent his playing career largely in the Spanish second division, was Guardiola's assistant for four years at the Nou Camp, the pair having previously worked together with the B team.

He was first diagnosed with parotid gland cancer in November 2011 and the disease returned in December 2012.

He was away from the team between December and late March as he underwent surgery and treatment, but still won the La Liga title before resigning in July last year.