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Hundreds have gathered in Ghana to pay their respects to former Premier League footballer Christian Atsu who was killed in the devastating earthquake in Turkey last month.

Gathering outside the State House in Ghana’s capital Accra, family, friends, government representatives, the nation’s president, and former teammates all joined to remember Atsu.

The Ghanaian’s body was found 12 days after the disaster hit Turkey and Syria, that claimed more than 50,000 lives.

His body was repatriated to Ghana last month in preparation for the funeral in his home country today.

Atsu, who was 31, had played for Newcastle, Everton, and Porto. He was playing for Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor at the time of his death. 

Pallbearer gestures by the coffin of the late Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu

Pallbearer gestures by the coffin of the late Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu

Military pallbearers flanked each side of the footballers coffin as it was carried down the aisle outside Ghana's State House

Military pallbearers flanked each side of the footballers coffin as it was carried down the aisle outside Ghana’s State House

The coffin of the late Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu was partially uncovered

The coffin of the late Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu was partially uncovered

Military pallbearers flanked each side of the footballer’s coffin as it was carried down the aisle outside Ghana’s State House. It was draped in Ghana’s red, yellow, and green flag.

Hundreds of white flowers formed the plinth for the coffin to sit on as soldiers in full dress uniform saluted the footballer.

Many wore black to mourn Atsu, while others proudly wore the colours of the nation’s flag.

Those in attendance included the Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, who joined mourners for the state-assisted funeral. 

Throughout the proceedings, drumming groups and brass bands provided a colourful display in tribute to Atsu.

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Marie-Claire Rupio, Atsu’s widow read an emotional tribute to her late husband.

‘In life I love you darling, in death I’ll do the same,’ she said tearfully, the BBC reported.

Unable to continue, Rupio handed her eulogy speech over to Atsu’s sister who continued for her.

‘You did not go alone, for part of me went with you. Your smile, your love I see in our children’s smiles.’

Players and representatives from Hatayspor, the Turkish club Atsu was playing for when he was killed, also travelled to attended the ceremony.

Mourners dressed in Ghanaian colours attend the state-assisted funeral of the late Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu

Mourners dressed in Ghanaian colours attend the state-assisted funeral of the late Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu

Many wore black to mourn Atsu, while other proudly wore the colours of the nation's flag. Hundreds gathered to say goodbye to the footballer

Many wore black to mourn Atsu, while other proudly wore the colours of the nation’s flag. Hundreds gathered to say goodbye to the footballer

Atsu was promoted to the Premier League with Newcastle during the 2016-17 season under Rafa Benitez and he made 121 appearances in total over five years

Atsu was promoted to the Premier League with Newcastle during the 2016-17 season under Rafa Benitez and he made 121 appearances in total over five years

Mourners dressed in the red, yellow, green Ghanaian flag attend the state-assisted funeral of the late footballer Christian Atsu

Mourners dressed in the red, yellow, green Ghanaian flag attend the state-assisted funeral of the late footballer Christian Atsu

Relatives of Ghana soccer player Christian Atsu weep during his funeral at the State House in Accra, Ghana, today

Relatives of Ghana soccer player Christian Atsu weep during his funeral at the State House in Accra, Ghana, today

Members of the Ghana Supporters Union attend the state-assisted funeral of Atsu as they drummed in the solemn ceremony

Members of the Ghana Supporters Union attend the state-assisted funeral of Atsu as they drummed in the solemn ceremony

Earlier in the week, the Ghanaian’s body was laid in its casket for the nation’s citizens to file past and pay their respects. Long queues formed throughout Tuesday as thousands said goodbye to the footballer that represented them at 65 international tournaments.

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Other than playing football, Atsu had been an ambassador for global children’s charity Arms Around The Child (AATC) since 2016. He was the main benefactor of a new school that is nearing completion in Senya Beraku in Ghana. He visited children and the project there on several occasions.

Atsu enjoyed an extremely impressive football career after he broke through with Portuguese giants Porto.

An impressive display in Portugal included a loan spell at Rio Ave, and helped earn him a move to Chelsea.

He spent five years at Stamford Bridge but never actually made an appearance for the first team. Instead he spent temporary spells away from the club with Vitesse Arnhem, Everton, Bournemouth, Malaga and Newcastle, before he made a permanent move up north in 2016.

He was promoted to the Premier League with the club during the 2016-17 season under Rafa Benitez and he made 121 appearances in total over five years.

Thought the proceedings, drumming groups and brass bands provided a colourful display in tribute to Atsu, that alleviated the solemn event

Thought the proceedings, drumming groups and brass bands provided a colourful display in tribute to Atsu, that alleviated the solemn event

A military honour guard carries the remains of Ghana soccer player Christian Atsu for his funeral at the State House

A military honour guard carries the remains of Ghana soccer player Christian Atsu for his funeral at the State House

Christiana Atsupie, twin sister of late Ghana's soccer player Christian Atsu, lays a wreath during his funeral at the State House in Accra

Christiana Atsupie, twin sister of late Ghana’s soccer player Christian Atsu, lays a wreath during his funeral at the State House in Accra

Earlier in the week, the Ghanaian's body was laid in its casket for the nation's citizens to file past and pay their respects

Earlier in the week, the Ghanaian’s body was laid in its casket for the nation’s citizens to file past and pay their respects

Upon leaving Newcastle, he moved to Saudi Arabia to play for Al-Raed, before he joined Hatayspor last September.

Atsu also had a decorated international career, winning 65 caps for Ghana and scoring nine goals, while he also represented them at the 2014 World Cup.

Atsu was a devout Christian and married his wife Marie-Claire Rupio Atsu in 2012. The couple had three children together – two sons and a daughter. 

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