Former Cardiff City and Aston Villa midfielder Peter Whittingham has died at the age of 35. Whittingham had been fighting for his life in Cardiff’s Heath Hospital, before passing away on Thursday morning.
The former England Under-21 international suffered head injuries at a pub in Barry on March 7 from what South Wales Police have described as an “accidental fall”.
An official statement from Cardiff City read: “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.
“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.
“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.
“First and foremost, Peter was a family man – and somebody who could light up a room with his sense of humour, warmth and personality.
“Then, as a professional footballer – as a Bluebird – he excelled with talent, ease, grace and humility. Nobody did it better.
“The loss of Peter will be painfully felt by our city, supporters and indeed all who ever had the pleasure of knowing him.
“We love you Pete and your memory will eternally stay with us.”
South Wales Police said on Thursday that a file is being prepared for HM Coroner after the death of Whittingham.
On Wednesday, Police confirmed Whittingham had suffered a fall at a pub in Barry on March 7 before being rushed to hospital where he remained in a critical condition.
His wife Amanda is currently pregnant with their child.
A spokesman for South Wales Police said: “At this stage there is no evidence or suggestion of a criminal act, and it appears the injury was caused by an accidental fall.
“Enquiries are continuing into the circumstances of the incident.”
Whittingham came through the ranks at Aston Villa, where he won the FA Youth Cup in 2002 prior to a Premier League debut a year later.
He won his first of 17 England under-21 caps in 2004 prior to loan spells at Burnley and Derby County, but it was at Cardiff where he really hit his stride following a move to the Welsh capital in 2007.
He helped the Bluebirds to the FA Cup final in his first full season at the club, and went on to establish himself as one of the Championship’s most exciting attacking midfielders over the next few seasons.
A two-time Cardiff player of the year, Whittingham captained Cardiff to promotion from the Championship in 2013, securing his third place in the division’s PFA Team of the Season for the third time in his career, while he also made the PFA’s 2005-2015 Championship team of the decade.
After rejecting bids for Whittingham in the summer of 2015, former Cardiff boss Russell Slade described the midfielder as the club’s “kingpin”.
He made over 450 appearances and scored 98 goals in 10 years at Cardiff before finishing his career at Blackburn in 2018.
He left Cardiff for League One Blackburn Rovers in 2017, before having his contract terminated just over a year later.