Tottenham 'devastated' by death of fitness coach Ventrone
Tottenham have announced the death of their fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone.
Ventrone joined Tottenham last November as part of Antonio Conte's backroom staff. The Italian had previously spent a decade at Juventus and also worked for Catania, JS Suning, GZ Evergrande and Ajaccio.
Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport said Ventrone died on Thursday morning in Naples.
Spurs said they were "devastated" by the news.
In a statement, the club added: "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."
Ventrone was nicknamed 'The Marine' due to his diligent approach to training.
Spurs forward Son Heung-min embraced the Italian on the touchline after netting a hat-trick against Leicester City last month to break his scoring duck for the season.
"I have a really good relationship with Gian Piero," Son said at the time. "His English is not perfect. Sometimes he comes in with his phone and translates from Italian.
"I think life-wise he gives me so much advice, which I am really grateful. He has been so helpful, giving me always a big hug in tough times and even great times he has always been next to me and every staff."
Son's team-mate Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, speaking during Tottenham's brutal pre-season training camp in July, said: "It's all love for Gian Piero.
"Normally when you have a fitness coach like that who is running you ragged, you start to not like him, but that’s not the case. We all absolutely love him. We've got so much respect for him that we do whatever he tells us to."
Ventrone, who was 62 according to Italian media, was reportedly suffering with leukaemia at the time of his death. His family said his funeral would take place on Sunday.