Football fans pay tribute to loyal Newcastle United supporter Cliffy Ahmed after his death

Newcastle United fan Cliffy Ahmed
Newcastle United fan Cliffy Ahmed

Tributes have been paid to a passionate Newcastle United fan from South Shields who followed the Magpies all over the country.

Cliffy Ahmed had been a regular sight at NUFC matches since the 1960s.

Cliffy Ahmed in his younger days

Cliffy Ahmed in his younger days

The 57-year-old, from West Holborn, had been to see Newcastle take on Manchester United on Tuesday night and went for a drink in Nine Bar, located behind the Gallowgate End, after the 3-3 draw.

But after leaving the bar to make his way home, he suffered a cardiac arrest and was later found lying close to the Strawberry pub, just yards from his beloved St James's Park. He was taken to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary where he died on Wednesday.

A family spokesman told the Gazette: "Newcastle United was his life.

"On Tuesday he'd have been in high spirits after the game and he normally went for a pint. But sadly, he has collapsed on his way home.

"We're amazed by how many people knew him, he was quite a character. He was planning to go to Watford next weekend, he just loved going to watch Newcastle."

As news of his death spread among supporters over the weekend, many took to social media to leave tributes to a man who was black and white through and through.

Newcastle United posted on their official Twitter account: "Our condolences to the family and friends of loyal and well-known Newcastle United fan Cliffy Ahmed, who has sadly passed away. #NUFC"

South Shields Football Club also left their condolences online, posting on their Twitter account: "The thoughts of everyone at SSFC are with the friends and family of #nufc superfan Cliffy Ahmed, also a regular face at Mariners Park. RIP."

Former Newcastle United midfielder Gavin Peacock was among those saddened by the news.

He took to Twitter to say: "Very sad to hear that @nufc loyal fan, Cliffy Ahmed, passed away. The kind of person that makes the Geordie fans so special. #NUFC"

And staff at The Back Page sporting memorabilia shop, just a short walk away from Cliffy's beloved St James's Park, tweeted: "Yet another one taken away from us too soon. His whole life utterly dedicated to NUFC. We are gutted. Miss you lad."

Back Page owner Mick Edmondson said: "Cliffy had been travelling to away games on our buses for 12 years and he never missed. Friendlies, league games, cup ties, Cliffy was always there.

"He would come into the shop two or three times a week. People started to worry that something was up when he didn't come in on Saturday and he wasn't seen at the match.

"Newcastle United was his life. He loved going to the games, he loved the trips on the buses.

"He was a harmless, loveable lad. Everybody knew him, he was never happier than when he was just talking about football. It'll be strange not seeing him at matches anymore."

Newcastle United fan Steve Wraith said: "Cliffy was a true legend, a total extrovert and eccentric but well respected and loved by everyone.

"He was part of the 'blue chip' brigade - the group of die-hard fans who would follow Newcastle everywhere.

"Cliffy used to love writing into the fanzines. He was so passionate, he was such a familiar sight to people travelling to games. He'll be greatly missed."