Newcastle fans have started a fundraiser in honour of the late Christian Atsu with a supporters group hoping to finish the former winger’s project of building a new school in Ghana.
The former Magpies and Chelsea winger, 31, died under the rubble of the devastating earthquake that has hit Turkey and Syria.
Newcastle observed a minute’s silence for Atsu before their 2-0 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday at St James’ Park and now fan group Talk of Tyneside have started a charity initiative in his name.
Atsu was an ambassador for the charity Arms Around the Child, which he was working alongside to help build the new school, with the project already underway.
Talk of Tyneside are now urging fans to donate to their fundraiser to help finish what he started in his home country of Ghana with more than £600 being raised so far.
Talk of Tyneside said: ‘Christian Atsu was a well-loved figure on Tyneside and this has been highlighted by the scale of tributes paid to him by Newcastle United Football club and its fans.
‘Following his passing, we were hoping to find a way to give supporters a way to show appreciation for his service to the club, and raising money for a fantastic charity that he worked with feels like the perfect way to do so.
Ellie Milner from Arms Around The Child added: ‘Christian touched the lives of so many with his charity work, we are determined to keep his legacy alive by raising funds to finish the school buildings in Senya Beraku – and support the children he loved so much.’
Atsu had been missing for 12 days before he was confirmed dead by his agent Murat Uzunmehmet.
‘Atsu’s lifeless body was found under the rubble. Currently, more items are still being taken out. His phone was also found.’
Newcastle United – where Atsu spent four years of his career – said Atsu would be ‘fondly remembered’ by everyone at the club.
‘We are profoundly saddened to learn that Christian Atsu has tragically lost his life in Turkey’s devastating earthquakes,’ they said on social media.
‘A talented player and a special person, he will always be fondly remembered by our players, staff and supporters. Rest in peace, Christian.’