On 5 June 2017, Newcastle fans were saddened to discover their cult-hero midfielder, Cheick Tiote, had died at the age of just 30, after suffering a suspected heart attack while training in China.
To say it was a shock would be an understatement, with Tiote always seemingly at his peak of fitness, and it left many fans feeling numb as they struggled to take in the devastating news.
Th Ivory Coast star joined Newcastle in the summer of 2010 from FC Twente in Holland, and stayed on Tyneside until 2017, when he left on a free transfer for Beijing BSU in the Chinese Super League.
Tiote made 156 appearances for Newcastle, with the combative midfielder picking up 63 yellow cards, and two reds, during his time at St James’ Park.
But if you ask any Newcastle fan what their memory of the player is, almost every single one would have the same answer – his one and only goal for the club.
That goal, of course, was the incredible equalising volley that saw Newcastle come back from four goals down, to draw 4-4 with Arsenal in 2011.
Tiote should have had a second Newcastle goal to his name
He should have had a second goal to his name, with a brilliant shot finding the back of the Leazes End net against Manchester City in 2014, only for the referee to bizarrely chalk it off, deeming Joe Hart’s vision was impeded by Yoan Goffran, who was way to his left.
It would have given Newcastle fans a dilemma of which of Tiote’s wonder strikes was better, but in the end, it may actually be fitting that he is remembered for that wonderful strike against the Gunners.
We often hear of athletes dying at unfathomably young ages, but in the case of the gentle giant that was Cheick Tiote, he truly was taken too soon.
Fortunately, his achievements will live long in the memory of everyone associated with Newcastle United.
Every day until Christmas, Geordie Boot Boys will bring you another incredible Newcastle moment as we countdown the 25 most iconic Toon moments of the decade.