Cardiff City legend and former England Under-21 international Peter Whittingham, a versatile midfielder who scored 96 goals in 10 seasons with the Bluebirds and helped them reach the Premier League in 2013, died suddenly Thursday at the age of 35.
Whittingham was hospitalized after suffering a head injury in what police describe as an "accidental fall" at a pub in Wales on March 7.
"It is with an immeasurable amount of sorrow that we must inform supporters that Peter Whittingham has passed away at the age of 35. We are heartbroken," Cardiff said in a statement.
"The news of Peter's sudden and untimely passing has shaken us to our very foundation. Our love goes out to his wife Amanda, their young son, and family. They are at the forefront of our thoughts and, on their behalf, we ask for privacy to be respected at this unfathomably cruel and difficult time."
Whittingham began his career at Aston Villa and played more than 50 Premier League games with the club from 2002 to 2007.
But he made a name for himself at Cardiff. Whittingham joined the Welsh outfit for £350,000 in 2007 and became a leader in midfield.
As a playmaker and goalscorer, the left-footed Whittingham roused the masses in south Wales with his subtle touch and devastating shot. He racked up 91 assists at Cardiff and made 457 appearances. During that time, the club reached the 2008 FA Cup final and 2012 League Cup final, and eventually earned promotion to the Premier League in 2013. It was the first time Cardiff had reached the English top flight since 1962.
Whittingham left Cardiff in 2017 before ending his career at Blackburn Rovers. He retired following the 2017-18 season.
"First and foremost, Peter was a family man - and somebody who could light up a room with his sense of humor, warmth, and personality," Cardiff added. "Then, as a professional footballer - as a Bluebird - he excelled with talent, ease, grace, and humility. Nobody did it better."