Football pundit Claude Callegari, a former star of Arsenal Fan TV, dies aged 58
Former Arsenal FanTV pundit Claude Callegari has died at the age of 58, just two days after he told his social media followers he would ‘disappear soon to see my mother then you can all be happy’.
On the afternoon of March 29, the lifelong Arsenal fan passed away with the cause still to be detailed and his family have asked for privacy after his father announced the news.
One of his final tweets came in response to criticism of his analysis on Arsenal FanTV, in which he wrote: ‘No one is forcing you to watch it don’t worry I will disappear soon to see my mother then you can all be happy’.
Claude Callegari, of Arsenal Fan TV fame, has passed away at the age of 58, his family revealed
Two days before he passed away, Callegari tweeted to a critic that he would ‘disappear soon’
A statement was released about ‘legend’ Callegari with tributes flooding in for the pundit
A statement released on behalf of the family read: ‘We can’t believe we are writing this, with permission from Claude’s father, it is with great sadness and a broken heart that we have to announce that our dear friend and legend Claude sadly passed away yesterday afternoon, March 29.
‘RIP dear friend, gone but never forgotten. Gooner for life.’
Reacting to the sad news, AFTV posted an emotional tribute to one of their most famous contributors.
‘We are absolutely devastated today to learn of the death of Claude Callegari, one of the channel’s most popular contributors,’ AFTV tweeted.
Callegari (right) became a regular fixture of the YouTube channel, which has 1.32m subscribers
Reacting to the news, AFTV said they are ‘devastated’ to lose ‘one of the channel’s most popular contributors’. They added they will not upload new content for the coming days
‘Claude was a much loved figure during his time on the channel and through his passion for Arsenal was able to connect with fans from around the globe on a meaningful level.
‘We had continued to privately support Claude during his time away from the channel during the pandemic and the news of his passing comes as a deep shock to everyone at AFTV and in the wider Arsenal community.’
AFTV confirmed that they would not be posting any videos or new content for the coming days as they come to terms with Callegari’s passing.
Tributes quickly came in for the popular Arsenal fan following news of his passing on Monday.
Moh Haider, another AFTV pundit, posted an emotional tribute for Callegari on Tuesday
Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell was among those to offer condolences to his heartbroken friends and family.
He tweeted: ‘Deepest condolences to Claude’s Father and family. I honestly am shocked and can’t believe it! May he R.I.E.P.’
Former Tottenham and Chelsea striker Graham Roberts detailed a meeting he had with Callegari in his message of condolence.
He tweeted: ‘Had the pleasure of meeting Claude at my flat last year with @1MickyHazard and @rocketrichman, @abbi_summers, @thenewtommitch he was a wonderful guy and real laugh I know he had some personal problems but he had an amazing heart and rivalries aside we had a great evening. Rip mate.’
Former Tottenham striker Graham Roberts shared a meeting he had with Callegari in tribute
Ex-Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell was among those quick to offer his condolences to family
Former Everton and Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie posted condolences for the pundit
Moh Haider, one of Callegari’s fellow pundits on the YouTube channel, wrote: Really sad to hear that Claude has passed away.
‘Claude was an unbelievably passionate @Arsenal man & was brilliantly witty, but unfortunately in a world where people take more pride in being ‘savage’ than being nice, he had his ups and downs.
‘I really hope that Claude passed away peacefully and painlessly, and my condolences go out to all of his family, friends, fans and all of the millions of people who smiled because of Claude. Rest in peace Claude.’
Former Crystal Palace and Everton winger Yannick Bolasie tweeted: ‘RIP Claude. AFTV certiii, condolences to all his family.’
Fans of Callegari shared clips of his famous rants and arguments on Arsenal FanTV with his most iconic calling on Arsene Wenger to be sacked.
‘IT IS TIME TO GO!’ quickly became synonymous with Callegari’s post-match interviews outside the Emirates Stadium.
Claude (back left) has not appeared on the popular YouTube channel since he was dropped for a ‘DVD’ comment aimed at Tottenham’s Son Heung-min in the north London derby last July