The football world was thrown further into mourning on Sunday as it was announced that Senegal’s 2002 World Cup star, Papa Bouba Diop, had passed at 42.
According to some reports from Senegal, the combative midfielder was said to have been ill for some time from Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
His death is coming days after Diego Maradona passed away from a heart attack at 60.
Affectionately nicknamed the ‘Wardrobe’ because of his size and his marking ability, he is best remembered for the goal that announced Senegal to the world – the goal against France in the opening match of the 2002 World Cup.
He played for nine European sides; enjoying a great spell at Fulham FC, where he played the most professional matches – 76 over four seasons.
The London club paid a tribute to their former player on Twitter: “We are devastated to hear news reports this evening that Papa Bouba Diop has passed away, aged 42. Rest well, Wardrobe Black heart.”
They also posted a video to celebrate the midfielder.
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Senegal compatriot, Sadio Mane, paid his tribute on Instagram: “Pope Bouba, It was with a broken heart that we learned of your disappearance. Know that you will remain in our hearts forever even if you left without saying goodbye to us. RIP #Bouba”.
Another of his nine clubs, RC Lens, also paid him tribute on Twitter: “It is with great sadness that Racing Club de Lens has just learned of the disappearance of its former player Papa Bouba #Diop, at the age of 42. We offer our deepest condolences to his loved ones. Folded hands Red heart Yellow heart #LensoisPourToujours#rclens.”
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