Cheick Tioté’s young son has paid a heartbreaking tribute to his late father by posing for a picture in a Newcastle United shirt with the words ‘RIP Daddy’ printed on the back.
Three-year-old Rafael was born to the midfielder and partner Nikki Mpofu during Cheick Tioté’s six-and-a-half-year stay on Tyneside.
And following the tragic news of his dad’s passing on Monday, the youngster and his family visited St James’ Park to collect the special shirt.
The images of the child with his father have been widely shared on social media after they were posted on Tuesday, including by Rafael’s mum Nikki.
In two emotional tweets in the hours after news broke of Cheick Tioté’s death, she paid tribute to the former Ivory Coast international.
She wrote: ‘Just lost the love of my life. Rest in peace Cheiky’ and ‘What do I tell our son Cheiky? #RIPTiote’.
The 30-year-old passed away in China, where he had been playing for second division outfit Beijing Enterprises.
He was rushed to hospital at 6pm local time on Monday but was pronounced dead at 7pm.
Tioté turned himself into a cult hero during his time at Newcastle, thanks in no small part to a stunning equaliser in a 4-4 draw with Arsenal.
He left in February for Asia after more than 150 appearances for the Magpies.
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