Former Chelsea and Newcastle star, Christian Atsu, was killed by the disastrous earthquake that struck southern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6.
According to Mirror UK, his flight was scheduled to fly out of Turkey just hours before the devastating earthquake in the region.
Atsu played for Hatayspor in their Turkish Super Lig clash against Kasimpasa the night before the earthquake and scored a 98th-minute winner, which encouraged him to cancel his 11 pm flight and stay in Turkey.
It was confirmed on Saturday morning that Atsu was killed by the earthquake, which has claimed more than 45,000 lives and injured thousands more.
Millions of people have been left without water, electricity and heating in southern Turkey and northern Syria.
Atsu, who spent much of his career in the Premier League, was planning on visiting his family but delayed his journey after his dramatic goal.
Hatayspor’s administrative manager Faith Ilek revealed the tragic turn of events during a recent interview.
“He didn’t play against Gaziantep FK, but scored a last-minute goal in the Kasımpasa match,” Ilek told Turkish outlet Radyospor before Atsu’s death was confirmed.
“Actually, he was going abroad to visit his family. But when he played well and scored, he cancelled his ticket.
“The earthquake happened on his happiest day. He had a flight at 11 pm. Cancelled the ticket.
“There was an earthquake at 4 am. Absolutely a tragedy.”
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