Peter Whittingham: Former Cardiff, Aston Villa and Blackburn midfielder dies aged 35

Peter Whittingham

Peter Whittingham, former Cardiff, Aston Villa and Blackburn midfielder, has died aged 35.

He suffered head injuries at a pub in Barry on March 7 from what South Wales Police have described as an "accidental fall".

Whittingham, who made more than 400 appearances for Cardiff between 2007 and 2017, won the Championship in 2013 and reached two cup finals: the FA Cup in 2008 and the League Cup in 2012.

Cardiff released a statement on Thursday afternoon, it read: "It is with an immeasurable amount of sorrow that we must inform supporters that Peter Whittingham has passed away at the age of 35.

Peter Whittingham started his career at Aston Villa 1:26
Former Premier League players Neil Mellor and Stephen Warnock pay tribute to former Cardiff and Aston Villa midfielder Peter Whittingham, who has died aged 35

"We are heartbroken.

"The news of Peter's sudden and untimely passing has shaken us to our very foundation. Our love goes out to his wife Amanda, their young son and family. They are at the forefront of our thoughts and, on their behalf, we ask for their privacy to be respected at this unfathomably cruel and difficult time.

"First and foremost, Peter was a family man - and somebody who could light up a room with his sense of humour, warmth and personality. Then, as a professional footballer - as a Bluebird - he excelled with talent, ease, grace and humility. Nobody did it better.

"The loss of Peter will be painfully felt by our city, supporters and indeed all who ever had the pleasure of knowing him. We love you Pete and your memory will eternally stay with us."

preview image 1:09
Michael Chopra pays tribute to former Cardiff City team-mate Peter Whittingham

He was top scorer in the Championship in 2009 and was named in the PFA's Championship Team of the Year on three occasions.

Whittingham's former team-mate Michael Chopra paid tribute on Twitter. He said: "Devastated to have lost an old team-mate had some great memories on and off the pitch with you. Football has lost a great guy and player gone too soon deepest condolences to your family RIP Whitts."

Following his 10-year spell at Cardiff, Whittingham joined Blackburn and helped them return to the Championship for the 2018/19 season.

The club also released a statement, "Rovers are saddened to learn the news that former midfielder Peter Whittingham has passed away, aged 35.

"The thoughts of everyone at Rovers are with Peter's wife Amanda, their young son and family at this very difficult time."

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer joined the figures paying tribute to Whittingham, adding he was saddened by the news.

Solskjaer, who managed Whittingham in 2014, said: "I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Peter Whittingham.

"Peter was a fantastic footballer and an incredible human being. I thoroughly enjoyed working with him during my time at Cardiff City.

"It's hard to believe that he has been taken from us at such a young age. Peter will be deeply missed and our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time."

Whittingham started his career at Aston Villa, where he was part of the team that won the FA Youth Cup in 2002.

Malky Mackay says he is 'deeply shocked and saddened at the news regarding Peter Whittingham'
Image: Malky Mackay says he is 'deeply shocked and saddened at the news regarding Peter Whittingham'

Malky Mackay also paid tribute to Whittingham, having managed him while Cardiff City boss between 2011 and 2013.

A statement read: "I'm deeply shocked and saddened at the news regarding Peter Whittingham.

"Peter was an extremely gifted footballer and a great ambassador for Cardiff City Football Club.

"In my time at the club he was a dedicated team player and a popular guy in our dressing room.

"Off the field, he was a measured, kind, articulate and a warm hearted man. I am proud to have met, worked with and spent time in his company.

"Whits: You left great memories with so many people you came into contact with and you will be sorely missed.

"I'd like to extend my condolences to Amanda and the Whittingham family. They are all in my thoughts at this time."

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