Chelsea have today announced the sad news that academy kit man Eric Asiedu has passed away. Asiedu joined the club in 2013 and worked with the U18 squad.
In a statement, the club described him as a ‘humble and warm character’, who was well loved by players and staff at the club’s Cobham training ground.
The statement read: “Eric was a hugely popular figure at our Cobham training ground in his role as Academy kitman, always going about his work with an infectious smile and wonderful positivity. He will be sadly missed by us all and the pain of his sudden passing will be felt by many.”
A number of Chelsea players past and present have paid tribute to the man known as ‘boss’ by players at the club, with John Terry leading the messages. The former Blues captain said on Twitter: “RIP ERIC Heartbreaking news today. BOSS you will be deeply missed.”.
Two current members of the first team, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi, also paid tribute to a man they will have worked closely with. Hudson-Odoi said: “This really hurts! RIP ERIC.
“You really helped me through a lot growing up in the academy and you was more than a Kit man, you was a Good hearted man who wanted nothing but the best for Everyone!!
“Thank you for everything and May your soul Rest in perfect peace.”
Reece James also paid tribute, saying: “Rest In Peace Eric.
“You was more than a kit man. You had a real clean heart, funny personality and always wanted the best for all the academy lads. Miss the days when I used to rummage for fresh Nike socks.
“Until we meet again fly high & rest easy. Will miss you.”
Head of youth development Neil Bath also paid tribute to a man he described as: ‘a special, smiling superstar.’ ‘”We are completely shocked and totally devastated to hear of Eric’s passing,” he told the club’s website. “When you get the good fortune to lead an organisation like an academy, you quickly realise that while players, coaches and staff get the public praise, there are key individuals behind the scenes who truly are the absolute key to developing and maintaining a successful culture.
“Eric the boss man was a real example of the values we want to promote, a caring and supportive individual who created the sort of unity and family spirit that so many leaders struggle to find. It is impossible to put into words the depth of sadness we all feel at this news but the reaction from staff, parents and players, both current and past, gives a sense of the incredible love we all felt towards Eric.
“Eric really was one of a kind – a special, smiling superstar.”