Great Britain

Papa Bouba Diop dead at 42: Portsmouth and Fulham cult hero ‘dies after illness’, according to multiple reports

FORMER Portsmouth and Fulham midfielder Papa Bouba Diop has died, according to multiple reports.

The news is yet to be confirmed by any of his former clubs or the Senegalese Football Association.

However, Goal and the Daily Mirror - along with multiple outlets in Europe and Africa - are reporting the tragic news.

The midfielder, 42, has apparently died after a long illness.

Man mountain Diop, who stood at an imposing 6ft 5in, was a cult hero with both Fulham and West Ham - and earned the nickname 'The Wardrobe' because of his size.

He also had spells in England with West Ham - where he helped the club to promotion - and Birmingham.

Diop was a crucial part of Harry Redknapp's Portsmouth side that famously won the FA Cup in 2008.

He was also part of the Senegal side that shocked world champions France in the opening game of the 2002 World Cup.

Diop scored the only goal in the 1-0 win, which still ranks as one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history.

He won 63 international caps and retired from the game in 2013.

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