Former Fulham & Senegal Midfielder Papa Bouba Diop Passes Away Aged 42

Former Fulham, Portsmouth and Senegal midfielder Papa Bouba Diop has died aged 42, according to various reports.

Diop was a stalwart of the Premier League during the 2000s and early 2010s, enjoying spells with four English clubs during his 23-year career. Blessed with an cannon of a right foot, he was also strong in the tackle and earned plaudits wherever he went for his all action performances.

Reports suggest that Diop passed away following a lengthy battle with illness and journalists, former players and supporters were quick to pay tribute to him on social media.

The highlight of his career was scoring the only goal as Senegal secured a historic 1-0 over France in the 2002 World Cup group stages. Diop and his teammates were hailed as national heroes after the tournament as they eventually reached the quarter finals before bowing out to Turkey.

The midfielder began his career in his native Senegal for ASC Diaraf, eventually earning a move to Lens after spending time in Switzerland. His first Premier League switch came in 2004 when Fulham paid £6m for Diop.

Diop was loved by fans wherever he went | Clive Rose/Getty Images

He would go on earn cult hero status at Craven Cottage, making 84 appearances over three seasons and scoring nine goals, including a famous thunderbolt against Manchester United.

In 2007 he joined Portsmouth and won the FA Cup in his debut season, performing particularly well in the final against Cardiff City. A brief spell in Greece with AEK Athens was followed by a return to England with West Ham in 2011. He would bring his career to a close with a one season stint at Birmingham City.

Source : 90min