Friday, 21 April 2017

Gentle Giant - how Ugo was more than one goal



There will not have been a Bear who did not wake up to this morning’s tragic news with that vile, sickening, sinking yet horribly familiar feeling in their bellies. Ugo Ehiogu, who only 24 hours prior had been rushed to hospital in London following a deeply worrying training ground collapse, had been taken from us at the youthful age of 44, having ultimately suffered a fatal cardiac arrest.

Remembered forever for ‘that’ goal at Parkhead, Ehiogu was a massive part of the Walter Smith resurgence of 2007, a Rangers team who clawed back a humiliating 20 point gap to Celtic and made the final table look almost respectable.

Indeed though, when Walter had had the wisdom to sign he and David Weir as free transfers that January as part of his rebuilding job in Govan, most SPL rival fans laughed at Rangers signing ‘geriatrics’ in defence, two ‘old past-it washed up’ soldiers at 34 and 36 years of age respectively, and while Ehiogu’s time at Ibrox was fairly brief, few could deny the impact he and his partner made on shoring up Rangers’ diabolical defence.

Generally seen as a ‘gentle giant’ and the kind of man who would go without so others could have, Ehiogu was a truly loved individual who was popular everywhere he went such was his modesty, his class, his friendliness and his kindness.

But that sweet man off the pitch was a gladiator on it, as Rangers fans known only too well, not scared to put his body where it hurt to help his team and possessing that enviable ability to do something special to be remembered by.

When Rangers went to Parkhead that fateful day, no one gave them a sniff – and the performance was typically Walter – hard-working, gritty, defensive, but then late on that corner came in and as Ehiogu flew upside down the history books were written.

 


It is the goal he will be associated with into folklore, but he was so much more than just one goal – a true gentleman of the sport, his arrival at White Hart Lane in 2014 as U23s coach saw the rise of young Harry Winks, a player Rangers were desperately after recently till he broke firmly into the Spurs first team.

I am no expert on Spurs’ youth systems, but it seems more than likely Ehiogu’s wisdom would have played a huge role in the attacking midfielder’s rise.

But for Rangers fans he was part of that massive turnaround in 2007 – where a ramshackle Rangers became a formidable outfit and the Iron Curtain of he and Weir made, on the second half of the season alone, Rangers the best side in the country on form.

As Paul Merson said, only the good die young. And Ehiogu was more than good.

He will be sadly missed. Ibrox Noise’s sympathies, best wishes and love go to his bereaved wife Gemma, son Obi and daughter Jodie and all his family and friends.

RIP Ugo.

9 comments:

  1. Terrific heartfelt post ibrox noise regarding the colossus centre half and true gentleman,the one and only UGO EHIOGU!!I was in attendance at celtic park that day when big ugo's superb overhead kick,flew into their net,via the underside of the bar!He sent our end wild with celebrations!!The big man was the reason all us bears,had a great night of celebration well into the following morning!Thats WHY UGO EHIOGU is a glasgow rangers legend who will never be forgotten by the rangers supporters!!Goodnight big man and god bless!Taken far too soon!!My sincere condolences to ugo's family that he's left behind!!Fly high with the angels and sleep tight big man!!RIP UGO EHIOGU!!So very very sad!Its a true saying "ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG"!!Big ugo was certainly that!A big gentle giant!!

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  2. Very touching and poignant IbroxNoise. He'll be sadly missed.

    RIP Ugo

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  3. Fitting tribute solid big guy and a true gent I was lucky enough to meet the big when I was on a night in town one night absolute giant of a man but so approachable and told me kebabs ain't good for u son lol rip big fella

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  4. Very humbling news this morning... R.I.P

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  5. Lovely tribute I.N.That was my last game at Saville Row due to ill health but one that lives long in the memory.Also had the pleasure of meeting the big guy at a charity dinner not long before that game. Lovely chap,still a young man too.

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  6. A very tearful Paul Merson summed it up perfectly well on Sky ..."Only the good die young"
    Any life lost at such a young age is a tragedy, but one with a presence and persona about him affects so many people is even more tragic. His contribution in football was immense and his legacy will always remain for an honest hard working player who never let his team mates down.
    By all accounts off field he was a loving, amiable family man who had a big heart and a personality to match. The loss to the sporting world is sad, the loss to his family is something we can but imagine, so many years now lost due to this tragic event.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this time and I hope they get some comfort from all the heartfelt messages from ordinary people as well as the famous, truly a man who touched so many hearts by being....purely and simply....himself.

    RIP Ugo Ehiogu, the world is a sadder place with your passing and the thoughts of many will echo that over the weekend games.

    GSTQ

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  7. Such sad news yesterday. But did anyone else notice the bbcs anti rangers reaction. Putting quotes from players who played with him at most teams he's been bar rangers. And Instead put a quote from an ex Celtic numpty. A great guy has jist died and the BBC were still having a dig at rangers

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