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Ugo would be so proud; Ehiogu'S WIDOW THANKS GENEROUS FANS FOR HELPING CHARITY IN HIS NAME.

Byline: MIKE BROWN mike.brown@trinitymirror.com @MIKEBROWNGAZ

A FUND to help the family of late Boro star Ugo Ehiogu set up a charity in his name has smashed its fundraising target.

The former defender represented Middlesbrough with distinction and was part of the side that won the club's first major trophy in 2004.

Ugo, who was a fans' favourite at the heart of the Boro back line, died in April after suffering a cardiac arrest at Tottenham's training ground.

His death rocked the football world, with tributes flooding in from players, managers, pundits and fans.

Ugo's wife Gemma launched a JustGiving page to raise funds to start a charity in his memory.

And after reaching an impressive PS26,895 donations have been closed.

In a message on the page, Gemma said: "On behalf of myself and my family, I would like to thank everyone for their very generous donations to Ugo's charity. I am blown away by all the support and wonderful messages.

"We have set up a registered charity called Side-On, which is the name that Ugo had originally chosen.

"We are working with some well respected existing charities to help identify where your donations can be used most effectively, and we will publish a website shortly to update everyone.

"Thank you again for all of your support; I know he would be very proud." Ugo played for Boro for seven years after signing for a then club-record PS8m fee, and won the League Cup in 2004.

After leaving Boro, Ugo retired from football two years later and moved into coaching, spending the last three years looking after Spurs' Under-23s.

Fans home and away rose together before kick-off at Boro's away defeat against Bournemouth last season to remember the former England international with a minute's applause. And Boro's away faithful then chanted his name in an organised tribute in the 44th minute.

Paying tribute after his death, Boro chairman Steve Gibson said: "I'm deeply shocked. I would regularly bump into Ugo. Football is a small world and he was always warm, friendly and welcoming. All of Middlesbrough Football Club will miss him."

CAPTION(S):

Tributes left on the gates at Riverside Stadium following Ehiogu's death

Ugo Ehiogu

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 13, 2017
Words:369
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