FORMER Portsmouth and Fulham midfielder Papa Bouba Diop has died aged 42.
The Senegalese midfielder is claimed to have died after a protracted sickness.
Portsmouth and Fulham cult hero Papa Bouba Diop – nicknamed ‘The Wardrobe’ due to his dimension – has died aged 42Credit score: Information Group Newspapers Ltd
Fulham confirmed the information writing: “We’re devastated to listen to information studies this night that Papa Bouba Diop has handed away, aged 42.
“Relaxation nicely, Wardrobe.”
Man mountain Diop, who stood at an imposing 6ft 5in, was a cult hero with each the Cottagers and Portsmouth – incomes the nickname ‘The Wardrobe’ due to his dimension.
He additionally performed in England for West Ham – the place he helped the membership to promotion through the play-offs in 2012 – and Birmingham Metropolis.
Diop was an important a part of Harry Redknapp’s Portsmouth facet that famously gained the FA Cup in 2008.
He was additionally a part of the Senegal facet that shocked world champions France within the opening sport of the 2002 World Cup.
Diop scored the one purpose within the 1-0 win, which nonetheless ranks as one of many largest shocks in World Cup historical past.
He gained 63 worldwide caps and retired from the sport in 2013.
Birmingham Metropolis, for whom Diop performed two video games in 2012-13, wrote on Twitter: “We’re devastated to study of the passing of former participant Papa Bouba Diop on the age of 42.
“Our ideas are with Papa’s household and mates at this extraordinarily tough time.”
Gary Lineker additionally paid tribute: “How terribly unhappy. Taken so younger. RIP Papa Bouba Diop.”
Former team-mates Jamie O’Hara and Liam Rosenior lead tributes to Diop.
O’Hara, who performed at Portsmouth with the midfielder, wrote: “Horrible information right this moment of my former team-mate Papa Bouba Diop, was a privilege to share a dressing room with him and such a pleasant man off the sector, RIP massive man.”
And Rosenior, who performed at Fulham, added: “Papa Bouba Diop. At all times smiling. What a person. Might his lovely smile bless us from heaven.
“I’m heartbroken. Relaxation in Peace my buddy.”
Bouba Diop scored the one purpose as Senegal beat France on the 2002 World Cup – one of many largest shocks in World Cup historical pastCredit score: Reuters
The large midfielder can also be liked by Fulham followers after his spell at Craven CottageCredit score: Instances Newspapers Ltd
Surprisingly, Manchester United nice Paul Scholes named The Wardrobe as one in all his hardest ever opponents.
He advised the Savage Social earlier this 12 months: “There’s yet one more that individuals will not consider. We used to play in opposition to Portsmouth.
“Do you bear in mind Papa Bouba Diop? Massive, huge. They used to name him The Wardrobe!
“You get entangled bodily with him and also you’re losing your time.
“I at all times discovered him awkward to play in opposition to. He wasn’t a Vieira, after all he wasn’t, however he nonetheless had expertise.”
Man Utd legend Paul Scholes surprisingly named Diop as one in all his hardest opponentsCredit score: Instances Newspapers Ltd