Peter Whittingham: Cardiff City legend dies aged 35 after head injury

Peter Whittingham
Peter Whittingham's effortless style and set-piece prowess made him a fans' favourite at Cardiff

Former Cardiff City midfielder Peter Whittingham has died aged 35.

The ex-Aston Villa player had been in hospital for more than a week after suffering a head injury in a fall in a pub in Barry.

Whittingham's former club Cardiff confirmed the news.

"It is with an immeasurable amount of sorrow that we must inform supporters that Peter Whittingham has passed away at the age of 35. We are heartbroken," they wrote in a statement.

"The news of Peter's sudden and untimely passing has shaken us to our very foundation. Our love goes out to his wife Amanda, their young son and family.

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"They are at the forefront of our thoughts and, on their behalf, we ask for their privacy to be respected at this unfathomably cruel and difficult time."

Whittingham started his career at Villa, where he played more than 50 league games and won 17 England Under-21 caps.

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He joined Cardiff for £350,000 in 2007 and established himself as a club legend with 459 appearances and 98 goals before leaving in 2017.

Whittingham then moved to Blackburn Rovers, before leaving a year later.

But it is with Cardiff that the stylish left-footed playmaker will be forever most closely associated.

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Peter Whittingham scores for Cardiff City at Middlesbrough in 2008 FA Cup

During Whittingham's 10 years with the club, the Bluebirds reached the 2008 FA Cup final, 2012 League Cup final and won promotion to the Premier League in 2013.

Whittingham was a huge fans' favourite at Cardiff, scoring numerous spectacular long-range goals which helped earn him a place in the EFL's team of the decade for 2005-2015.

"First and foremost, Peter was a family man - and somebody who could light up a room with his sense of humour, warmth and personality," Cardiff's statement added.

"Then, as a professional footballer - as a Bluebird - he excelled with talent, ease, grace and humility. Nobody did it better."

'Devastating loss' - ex-Cardiff captain Hudson

Former team-mate and Bluebirds captain Mark Hudson said he had been "blessed" to play alongside Whittingham.

Hudson told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast: "It's devastating. It'll be devastating for his family and everyone he's come in contact with.

"It's someone that's gone too young.

"Whitts as a human first and foremost was generous, was never too high, was never too low; loved football, enjoyed the game, loved everything about it and was a loving husband and dad. It's tragic.

"There was an amazing period for Cardiff and him. For me he would be up there with the best Cardiff City player.

"He was a wonderful player, had the ability to score wonderful goals, could link games, could create, could take games by the scruff of the neck.

"He was fantastic. You talk about players you've played with - he's the first player I talk about, his quality.

"There's very few that stay at a club for that period of time and give their all every single season as well.

"He never coasted, he was always at the top of his game; he gave everything he had."

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan offered his own tribute to Whittingham.

He said: "I have been profoundly saddened by yesterday's terrible news. I found Peter to be the most humble of men, notwithstanding the fact that he was one of our very best and most naturally able footballers.

"We were blessed with his talent at Cardiff City.

"Peter helped inspire a generation of young Cardiff City fans and will continue to do so. His memory will live on and I send my love and heartfelt condolences to his dear family. We will always be here for you.

"Rest in peace Peter. God bless you."

Former Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay said he was "deeply shocked and saddened" at the death of "an extremely gifted footballer and a great ambassador" for the club.

"In my time at the club he was a dedicated team player and a popular guy in our dressing room," added Mackay.

"Off the field he was a measured, kind, articulate and warm-hearting man.

"Whits: You left great memories with so many people you came into contact with and you will be sorely missed.

"I'd like to extend my condolences to Amanda and the Whittingham family. They are all in my thoughts at this time."

South Wales Police says it will give any information about Whittingham's death to the coroner having found "no evidence of a criminal act", adding "it appears the injury was caused by an accidental fall".

Tributes to Whittingham continue to pour across social media.

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