Former Senegal international midfielder who scored their first-ever World Cup goal has passed away after a long battle with illness.
Papa Bouba Diop
represented his country in their first-ever World Cup in
2002 World Cup
, where they stunned 1998 champions
1-0 in the opening match. Senegal ultimately reached the quarter-final of the tournament where they got knocked out by
. He was the Lions’ top scorer at the tournament. He ended his international career with 63 caps and 11 goals.
Diop spent almost a decade in England, played for
West Ham United
before retiring in 2013, with 129 total Premier League appearances. He was part of Harry Redknapp’s FA Cup-winning
team who defeated Cardiff City 1-0 in the 2008 final.
Fulham tweeted on Sunday evening:
"We are devastated to hear news reports this evening that Papa Bouba Diop has passed away, aged 42. Rest well, Wardrobe."
Diop, who stood at 6'5", played as a striker at beginning of his career for Swiss champions Grasshoppers, and was nicknamed ‘The Wardrobe’ during his career due to his height. ex-Manchester United and England star, Paul Scholes, named him among his trickiest opponents.