Ex-Arsenal youth player Sam Oji dies at 35 after battle with illness

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Ex-Arsenal youth player Sam Oji dies at 35 after battle with illness

Former Arsenal youth player Sam Oji died this past August after battling an illness. Oji never made it to the Arsenal senior team but he played for Birmingham City and Leyton Orient during his career. Prior to his death, Oji was working as an assistant manager for Highgate United.

"There has been various comments posted across social media throughout the day with regards the welfare of Samuel Oji," the club wrote. Highgate United were deeply saddened after losing Oji. "All it is with a very heavy heart that I am deeply saddened to inform you, that our beloved Captain, Leader and Legend Samuel Oji has sadly passed away," the club said.

"The thoughts of all at Highgate United FC are with Sam’s wife, children and family at this very sad time. RIP Oji.' "

Birmingham, Leyton also paid tribute to Oji

"The Club is devastated to hear of the passing of former player Sam Oji, aged 35.

The thoughts of everyone at #BCFC are with Sam's family and friends at this extremely difficult time," Birmingham tweeted. Leyton Orient also paid tribute as they said: 'We're deeply saddened to learn the news that former player Sam Oji has passed away.

Our thought are with Sam's nearest and dearest in this difficult time. Rest in peace, Sam." Lee Hendrie, a former Aston Villa player Lee Hendrie who played with Oji at Tamworth also paid tribute. 'So sad to hear the news about the big man @SamuelOji_24.

One of the nicest guys you meet on and off the pitch. Thinking of the family. Gone far to soon. R.I.P big man," Hendrie tweeted. Oji started his career with Arsenal in 2000 but signed with Birmingham after he failed to make the Arsenal first-team.

This past weekend, Oji's former team Arsenal beat Newcastle 2-0. Arsenal managed to beat Newcastle but manager Mikael Arteta thought they got sloppy after taking a comfortable lead. Arteta wanted Arsenal to score a goal or two more and kill off Newcastle.

“After the 2-0 we know we have to go to a different level as a team,” Arteta told Arsenal.com. “We gave too many sloppy balls away and weren’t organised in the press and we allowed them to run a few times and it created a different feeling.

“That’s the moment that we have to give even more, and go for the third or the fourth and make another step forward”.