Stoke City striker Benik Afobe says he and his family are “devastated and heartbroken” after his two-year-old daughter Amora died on Friday.
The 26-year-old, who is on a season-long loan deal with Bristol City, released a statement on Sunday.
“Amora was taken to hospital for treatment after unexpectedly developing a severe infection,” it said.
“Unfortunately she then suffered a number of serious complications and, despite doctors doing absolutely everything that they could, Amora passed away peacefully with the love of her family by her side.
“The entire family have been left totally devastated and heartbroken, and would like to ask that their privacy is respected at this incredibly difficult time.”
Bristol City have dedicated their 5-2 win over Huddersfield Town on Saturday to Afobe.
Afobe is likely to miss the rest of the season after sustaining a serious knee injury in September.
Football pays tribute
Afobe’s former Bournemouth team-mate Tyrone Mings showed his support to a “good friend” after scoring for Aston Villa against Manchester United on Sunday.
“I just want him to know that everybody is thinking of him,” Mings told Match of the Day.
Mings later posted on social media: “Only one place I want to direct my attention and that’s to Benik. Whether you pray or not, please keep his family in your thoughts through this tough time. We are all with you bro.”
Stoke tweeted their condolences to Afobe, saying: “The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Stoke City are with Benik Afobe following this morning’s tragic news.
“We’ll be with you, Benik.”
His former club Wolverhampton Wanderers also sent a message of support, tweeting: “Our hearts break for Benik Afobe and his family following the tragic news of his daughter’s passing this weekend.
“The Wolves family are with you, Benik.”
Matt Doherty, who scored Wolves’ equaliser in their 1-1 draw with Sheffield United on Sunday, took off his black armband, kissed it and raised it to the sky in an emotional tribute following the goal.
Afobe’s former Arsenal team-mate Jack Wilshere said: “Benik, my brother, my words will never mean enough to express how deeply sorry I am for your loss, and I know that no words will heal the pain in your hearts right now, just know I am here for you, Lois and your family always.
“Amora’s infectious smile will live on in our hearts forever. I love you my friend. Stay strong.”
Photo Credit: BBC