Former Premier League player Christian Atsu found dead after Turkey earthquake

ITV News Correspondent Peter Smith reports from the location in Turkey where Christian Atsu's body was found

Ghanaian footballer and former Premier League star Christian Atsu has been found dead in the rubble of his home in Turkey following the country's devastating earthquake.

His agent made the announcement this morning that the former Newcastle United, Chelsea and Everton player's body had been recovered southern province of Hatay.

"It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to announce to all well wishers that sadly Christian Atsu’s body was recovered this morning," Nana Sechere said.

The earthquakes left a trail of devastation.

"My deepest condolences go to his family and loved ones. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their and support."

It follows inaccurate reports last week that Mr Atsu, 31, had been pulled from the rubble alive, which his most recent club, Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor, said were untrue.

On Tuesday Sechere tweeted: "This is a difficult situation and we are extremely grateful to all the Turkish and foreign rescue teams, local civilians and volunteers for their efforts and response in rescuing survivors.

"However, we urgently need more resources, including a translator, on the ground.

"Things are moving incredibly slow and as a result of that many rescues are being delayed, and lives are being lost due to the lack of resources available to the workers.

"It is unfortunate that the club is not on the ground with us, side by side, in the search for Christian."

Atsu was due to fly to France just hours before the earthquake struck, but decided to cancel his plans at the last minute.

Players at Stamford Bridge observe a moment's applause in memory of Christian Atsu.

Among those paying tribute was Ali Gülbahar, who hosted the player and his manager in his hotel when he first arrived to the country before he found a place of his own.

He told ITV News that Atsu was "like a son" to him during his two-month stay and that he was feeling "overly emotional" following today's news.

Atsu made 121 appearances for Newcastle and was part of the team which won promotion back to the Premier League in 2017.

He also had loan spells at Everton and Bournemouth while contracted to Chelsea.

Hatayspor football club president Mehmet Güzel with Christian Atsu

Former Chelsea captain John Terry tweeted a picture of Atsu alongside the message: “RIP my friend.”

It's been nearly 12 days since a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria on the night of February 6.

Millions of people have been left homeless and more than 45,000 people have been killed, with the death toll expected to keep risisng.

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