Ex-Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn has paid a touching tribute to former goalkeeper Marton Fulop, who has died aged 32.
Fulop, who played for the Black Cats between 2006 and 2010, passed away after a battle with cancer.
The Hungarian was a part of Sunderland’s 2006-07 promotion-winning campaign, and Quinn – the chairman of the club at the time – has nothing but fond memories of him.
He told Sky Sports News: “Marton was a most beautiful man who brought nothing but joy and a big, radiant smile into the Sunderland dressing room.
“The news is so tragic. He has a beautiful family as well, and I echo the sentiments of all the players and ex-players, ex-colleagues and people who knew him.
“One of the tweets I saw said he was one of the good guys, and I can tell you that he was one of the very best.
“His care for others was noticeable. Every day, he was anxious and eager to assist younger players.
“He was just a beautiful man, and a huge character in our dressing room.”
Fulop lost his place in the Sunderland team following the signing of Scotland international Craig Gordon for £9million in 2007.
However, he stayed to fight for his position, and later went on to win his place back before proving himself at a host of other clubs, including Ipswich Town and Asteras Tripoli.
Quinn added: “The promotion year was real fun having him around. The goalkeeper is a very important part of your team, but he was much more than that.
“(Later), it stood against him the fact that we had paid so much money for Craig Gordon, but there was no sulking, he accepted it and just hoped and hoped that he would get some minutes and some game-time to impress us.
“He did, and at times (manager) Roy Keane kept him in the side, even if Craig was coming back from injury.
“It was touch and go whether we were going to sign Craig because of the form Marton was showing in the pre-season he came.
“His integrity as a footballer, his work ethic on the training ground and his ability to assist others (was great) – even Craig Gordon. There was no jealousy there.
“He pushed and help make Craig a better goalkeeper, and I can say nothing but good things.
“The news is tragic, and anyone who ever came into contact with him will feel terrible.”