FORMER Fulham and Portsmouth midfielder Papa Bouba Diop has died aged 42.
The Senegalese midfielder is alleged 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 on social media, writing: “We’re devastated to listen to information experiences this night that Papa Bouba Diop has handed away, aged 42.
“Relaxation properly, 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.
Diop was an important a part of Harry Redknapp’s Portsmouth facet that famously received the FA Cup in 2008.
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 additionally a part of the Senegal facet that shocked world champions France within the opening sport of the 2002 World Cup.
He scored the one objective within the 1-0 win, which nonetheless ranks as one of many greatest shocks in World Cup historical past.
He received 63 worldwide caps and retired from the sport in 2013.
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 in the present day 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 sphere, 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.”
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.”
Bouba Diop scored the one objective as Senegal beat France on the 2002 World Cup – one of many greatest shocks in World Cup historical pastCredit score: Reuters
The large midfielder can also be beloved by Fulham followers after his spell at Craven CottageCredit score: Occasions Newspapers Ltd
Surprisingly, Manchester United nice Paul Scholes named The Wardrobe as certainly one of his hardest ever opponents.
He advised the Savage Social earlier this yr: “There’s yet one more that individuals will not consider. We used to play towards Portsmouth.
“Do you keep in mind Papa Bouba Diop? Large, large. They used to name him The Wardrobe!
“You become involved bodily with him and also you’re losing your time.
“I all the time discovered him awkward to play towards. He wasn’t a Vieira, after all he wasn’t, however he nonetheless had expertise.”
Man Utd legend Paul Scholes surprisingly named Diop as certainly one of his hardest opponentsCredit score: Occasions Newspapers Ltd