Former Chelsea defender Jeffrey Ntuka has been stabbed to death in South Africa.
The stabbing occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning in a local nightclub in the township of Kroonstad in the Free State province.
He was on the books at Stamford Bridge as a youngster before returning to South Africa to play for Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United.
The 26-year-old was capped five times by the South Africa national team.
A representative from his agent Stella Africa confirmed the news.
Stella Africa's Michael Hughes was reported by South African sport website IOL to have said: "I spoke to his wife for a couple of minutes and she confirmed that Ntuka has passed away after being stabbed in a township in Kroonstad.
"Unfortunately, trouble seemed to follow Jeffrey around. He tried hard to surround himself with the right people and club-mates. But he struggled to really shake the image and stories that dogged his career.
"When his contract expired with [SuperSport] United, he had an unsuccessful trial with a second division Belgian side. We have been motivating him and he has been keeping fit."
Ntuka spent six months at Chelsea playing for the reserve team in 2003 before being loaned out to Belgian club Westerlo for five years. He spent two months at Stamford Bridge from December 2008 before returning to South Africa two months later to sign for Kaizer Chiefs.