Former Newcastle Jet dead at 26

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Former Newcastle Jets player Bernardo Ribeiro, 26, has died of a suspected heart attack during a friendly match in Brazil.

Ribeiro played eight games for the Jets during the 2012-2013 A-League season and scored one goal.

The news of his untimely death was met by an outpouring of grief on social media from former teammates and people connected with the Hunter outfit.

An attacking midfielder, the Brazilian was picked up by Flamengo at the age of nine and later developed a reputation for his sublime passing skills.

In 2016 he joined Friburguense Atletico.

Finland's YLE Sporten reported the midfielder began to feel ill during a match for the Rio de Janeiro-based club and was rushed to hospital.

One of Ribeiro's former clubs, IFK Mariehamn, acknowledged his passing on Facebook: "Thank you for everything, and rest in peace Bernardo!"

Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti was among former team-mates who expressed his grief at the midfielder's passing: “Bernardo Ribeiro. I'm so deeply saddened that you're no longer with us. My prayers go out to your family and friends. RIP my brother.”

Retired footballer and former Jet Michael Bridges tweeted: Just heard some devastating news regarding my good friend @bernardoribeiro R.I.P brother. The world has lost and amazing individual on & off the field."

It is the second such tragedy in recent days. On Friday Cameroon midfielder Patrick Ekeng died after collapsing on the field just seven minutes after coming on as a substitute in Dinamo Bucharest's Romanian Liga I game with Viitorul.

(Photo by Kevin Airs)