Newcastle United lead tributes to Christian Atsu one year after Turkey earthquake

Christian Atsu died in the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on 6 February 2023. Credit: PA

Newcastle United have led tributes to Christian Atsu on the one-year anniversary of an earthquake in Turkey.

The 31-year-old was caught up in the 7.8-magnitude quake on 6 February last year, with his body pulled from the rubble 12 days later.

The winger represented Chelsea, Everton and Bournemouth during his playing career but it was at Newcastle where he forged his strongest ties, spending five years with the club and helping them win the Championship in 2016.

Over 55,000 people are believed to have died in the earthquake last year. Credit: ITV News

The Magpies honoured their "wonderful" former player as they mark the one-year anniversary of the earthquake on Tuesday.

In a post on X, the club said: "One year ago we sadly lost Christian Atsu in the most tragic of circumstances."An incredible person who is fondly remembered by everyone at Newcastle United. Our thoughts are forever with Christian's family and friends."Oh, he is so wonderful."

Atsu left St James' Park in 2021 to join Saudi Arabian team Al Raed before moving to Hatayspor a year later.

He featured three times for the Süper Lig club and scored a last-minute winner against Kasımpaşa the day before the earthquake struck.

Hatayspor coach Burak Aydin was among those to pay tribute to Atsu as he looked back at his time with the club.

Hatayspor coach Burak Aydin has paid tribute to Christian Atsu. Credit: ITV News

"Atsu was a very valuable player," he told ITV News. "He said he wanted to leave the team and we wanted to keep him in the team, in what would be his last match, he scored a goal.

"He was so happy, who could have known then that he would be lost on such a happy day. It deeply affected us."

Over 55,000 died in the earthquake according to the British Red Cross while over 200,000 buildings were seriously damaged across Turkey and Syria.

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