Gian Piero Ventrone dies: Tottenham coach passes away aged 62

Gian Piero Ventrone dies: Tottenham coach passes away aged 62 2
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Tottenham fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone dies suddenly from leukaemia, aged 62, with Spurs mourning Antonio Conte’s ‘loveable marine’ who led their infamous fitness regime

  • Tottenham coach Gian Piero Ventrone has died of leukaemia at the age of 62
  • Ventrone was taken to the Fatebenefratelli hospital in Naples after falling ill
  • The fitness guru was known for his punishing stamina routines in training
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Tottenham coach Gian Piero Ventrone has died of leukaemia aged 62.

Antonio Conte’s fitness guru, who first earned the nicknamed ‘The Marine’ in Italy due to his tough training regimes, joined Tottenham as the manager’s right-hand man in 2021. 

SPURS’ STATEMENT 

‘We are devastated to announce that fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone has passed away.

‘The 62-year-old joined the Club in November, 2021, as part of Antonio Conte’s backroom staff, having previously held roles at Juventus, Catania, JS Suning, GZ Evergrande and AC Ajaccio.

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‘As loveable off the pitch as he was demanding on it, Gian Piero quickly became a hugely popular figure with players and staff.

‘He will be greatly missed by everyone at the Club and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this impossibly sad time.’

After being taken ill, Ventrone was taken to the Fatebenefratelli hospital in Naples before suddenly passing away on Thursday.

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Spurs are now mourning the loss of their coach and the funeral will be on Sunday at 3pm.

The club released the following statement on Thursday: ‘We are devastated to announce that fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone has passed away.

‘The 62-year-old joined the Club in November, 2021, as part of Antonio Conte’s backroom staff, having previously held roles at Juventus, Catania, JS Suning, GZ Evergrande and AC Ajaccio.

‘As loveable off the pitch as he was demanding on it, Gian Piero quickly became a hugely popular figure with players and staff.

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‘He will be greatly missed by everyone at the Club and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this impossibly sad time.’

The 62-year-old regularly performed his trademark drill this summer in Seoul, forcing the Spurs squad through gruelling session in 30-degree heat and 70 per cent humidity.

At times, the challenging sessions forced Tottenham stars such as Harry Kane to throw up from fatigue.

Right-back Matt Doherty told Sportsmail in July: ‘That’s pretty normal. Even the week before in London was along those lines. 

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Tottenham coach Gian Piero Ventrone died suddenly of leukaemia aged 62 on Thursday

Tottenham coach Gian Piero Ventrone died suddenly of leukaemia aged 62 on Thursday

Ventrone - picture here alongside his daughter - joined the north London club in 2021

Ventrone – picture here alongside his daughter – joined the north London club in 2021

‘I don’t know if there will be any teams fitter than us. This is hard, the hardest pre-season I’ve had. It’s not like anything I’ve done before. But you get a great satisfaction once the session is over.

‘Your mind has been tortured in the middle of it but when it’s done you feel proud and you go to bed thinking, “Yeah, I’ve worked hard today”. You’re just thinking, “Don’t quit”. Even if you crawl over the line or you have to jog or walk towards the end.

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‘It’s that determination the manager has instilled in us to keep going and never quit.’

His intense training regimes have helped Conte’s side carve out a positive start to the Premier League this season, with Tottenham sitting third behind Manchester City and league leaders Arsenal.

Ventrone was respected dearly amongst the Spurs players, with Son Heung-min admitting he was ‘really comfortable and really grateful’ following a conversation with coach ahead of Tottenham’s clash with Leicester last month.

The winger went on to score a sensational hat-trick against the Foxes, having previously struggled for goals this campaign.

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The fitness guru had a pivotal chat with Son Heung-min ahead of Spurs' clash against Leicester

The fitness guru had a pivotal chat with Son Heung-min ahead of Spurs’ clash against Leicester

WHAT IS LEUKAEMIA?

Leukaemia is a cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue, usually the bone marrow.

It leads to the over-production of abnormal white blood cells, which fight off infections. 

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But a higher number of white blood cells means there is ‘less room’ for other cells, including red blood cells – which transport oxygen around the body – and platelets – which cause blood to clot when the skin is cut.

There are many different types of leukaemia, which are defined according to the immune cells they affect and how the disease progresses.

For all types combined, 9,900 people in the UK were diagnosed with leukaemia in 2015, Cancer Research UK statistics reveal.

And in the US, around 60,300 people were told they had the disease last year, according to the National Cancer Institute. 

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Most cases have no obvious cause, with the cancer not being contagious or inherited.

Leukaemia generally becomes more common with age – the exception being acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which peaks in children.

Other risk factors include being male, exposed to certain chemicals or radiation, and some bone-marrow disorders.

Symptoms are generally vague and get worse over time.

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These can include:

  • Tiredness
  • Frequent infections
  • Sweats
  • Bruising
  • Heavy periods, nose bleeds or bleeding gums
  • Palpitations 
  • Shortness of breath

Acute leukaemia – which progresses rapidly and aggressively – is often curable via chemo, radiotherapy or a stem cell transplant.

Chronic forms of the disease – which typically progress slowly – tend to incurable, however, these patients can often live with the disease. 

Source: Leukaemia Care

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