Westley – Ugo had outstanding qualities

Ugo Ehiogu


  • Academy Manager Terry Westley pays tribute to Tottenham Hotspur U23 coach Ugo Ehiogu
  • Former England defender passed away at the age of 44, after suffering a cardiac arrest
  • Centre-half played 355 Premier League games for Middlesbrough and Aston Villa

West Ham United Academy Manager Terry Westley has paid tribute to Tottenham Hotspur U23 coach Ugo Ehiogu, who has sadly passed away at the age of 44.

The former Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and England defender, who was born just a short distance from the Hammers’ London Stadium home in Homerton, died on Friday morning, hours after suffering a cardiac arrest at Spurs’ training ground.

Westley managed in opposition to Ehiogu on many occasions during his time at Tottenham’s Academy, where he worked his way up to be appointed U21 coach in 2014 and U23 coach last summer, and also spent time talking football with the former defender on coaching courses.

“It is staggering news,” said Westley. “It was only a few weeks ago when we took an U23 team to play against Ugo’s Tottenham at their training ground in an 8v8 friendly match, and we stood together on the touchline by their indoor pitch talking football.

“Ugo was a very thoughtful man who had time for everybody. He had no ego and no edge to him, which you might have expected for someone who played so many games at Premier League level.

“Ugo will be sorely missed by everybody in the football world.”

Ugo worked hard, developed his skills as a coach and thoroughly deserved his chance to lead Tottenham’s U23 side

Terry Westley

Terry Westley
Westley was hugely impressed by the approach Ehiogu took to his own coaching career, which saw him rise through the Academy ranks at Tottenham, learning from his colleagues and putting his knowledge and experience to use developing the next generation of players for the north London club.

As someone who also watched Ehiogu develop himself into one of this country’s outstanding centre-halves with Aston Villa and Middlesbrough, playing 355 times in the Premier League, Westley paid tribute to the late defender’s commitment to excellence.

“Ugo had outstanding qualities as a player and he took those into his coaching career, where he spent years developing his skills under the guidance of Tottenham’s head of coaching and development, John McDermott,” he confirmed.

“Ugo worked hard, developed his skills as a coach and thoroughly deserved his chance to lead Tottenham’s U23 side.

“I and my coaching staff were talking on learning the sad news and we all agreed that Ugo’s character was what set him apart. He was a thoughtful, football man who loved to talk about the game, he had respect and time for everyone and his passing has left us all with a feeling of immense sadness.”

West Ham United’s U23s travel to Ehiogu’s first club West Bromwich Albion on Monday evening in Premier League 2 Division 2, when tributes are expected to be paid to the former Baggies defender before kick-off.