Popular football pundit and lifelong Arsenal fan, Claude Callegari has died at the age of 58, just two days after he told his social media followers he would ‘disappear soon to see my mother then you can all be happy’.
On the afternoon of March 29, the former Arsenal FanTV pundit passed away with the cause still not revealed but his family has asked for privacy after his father announced the news.
In his final tweets, Mr. Claude reacted to criticism of his analysis on Arsenal FanTV, writing: ‘No one is forcing you to watch it don’t worry I will disappear soon to see my mother then you can all be happy’.
A statement released on behalf of the family read: ‘We can’t believe we are writing this, with permission from Claude’s father, it is with great sadness and a broken heart that we have to announce that our dear friend and legend Claude sadly passed away yesterday afternoon, March 29.
‘RIP dear friend, gone but never forgotten. Gooner for life.’
Reacting to the sad news, AFTV posted an emotional tribute to one of their most famous contributors.
‘We are absolutely devastated today to learn of the death of Claude Callegari, one of the channel’s most popular contributors,’ AFTV tweeted.
‘Claude was a much loved figure during his time on the channel and through his passion for Arsenal was able to connect with fans from around the globe on a meaningful level.
‘We had continued to privately support Claude during his time away from the channel during the pandemic and the news of his passing comes as a deep shock to everyone at AFTV and in the wider Arsenal community.’
Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell was among those to offer condolences to his heartbroken friends and family.
He tweeted: ‘Deepest condolences to Claude’s Father and family. I honestly am shocked and can’t believe it! May he R.I.E.P.’
Former Tottenham and Chelsea striker Graham Roberts detailed a meeting he had with Callegari in his message of condolence.
He tweeted: ‘Had the pleasure of meeting Claude at my flat last year with @1MickyHazard and @rocketrichman, @abbi_summers, @thenewtommitch he was a wonderful guy and real laugh I know he had some personal problems but he had an amazing heart and rivalries aside we had a great evening. Rip mate.’
Former Crystal Palace and Everton winger Yannick Bolasie tweeted: ‘RIP Claude. AFTV certiii, condolences to all his family.’
Moh Haider, one of Callegari’s fellow pundits on the YouTube channel, wrote: Really sad to hear that Claude has passed away.
‘Claude was an unbelievably passionate ?@Arsenal? man & was brilliantly witty, but unfortunately in a world where people take more pride in being ‘savage’ than being nice, he had his ups and downs.
‘I really hope that Claude passed away peacefully and painlessly, and my condolences go out to all of his family, friends, fans and all of the millions of people who smiled because of Claude. Rest in peace Claude.’
Troopz, another popular contributor before he left the channel last year, said: ‘You showed me love from the get go, made my misses feel comfortable when she came to events and always shows my kids love. I hope you are finally at peace godfather. RIP Legend.’