Never Forgotten: After suffering tragic on-field cardiac arrhythmia stars pay tribute to Champions League ace

Promising Appie Nouri turns 22 today and despite his career being over before it had really even started, his former teammates at Ajax will never forget him.

In July 2017 in a pre-season friendly against Werder Bremen, Nouri collapsed on the pitch and was immediately treated by paramedics before being airlifted to hospital.

It was then revealed that ‘Appie’, who has been with Ajax since the age of nine, had suffered serious and permanent brain damage.

Image: PA

Nouri’s brother, Abderrahim, confirmed that small progress had been made regarding his condition just over a year ago when speaking to NOS in August but it’s highly unlikely that he will be able to play football again.

But those who played with him will continue to remember him during the course of their respective careers by wearing his Ajax squad number.

Philippe Sandler, who spent time with Nouri as a youngster in the Ajax youth academy, asked for #34 upon signing for City from PEC Zwolle as he wanted to honour him.

He entered the fray as a second half substitute in the 7-0 FA Cup third round thrashing of Rotherham in January, with Nouri’s number on the back of his shirt and on his shorts.

Roma’s Justin Kluivert, Napoli’s Amin Younes and Fiorentina’s Kevin Dijks are also paying tribute to their friend by wearing his number for their clubs.

The former went a step further by holding up a Roma shirt with ‘Nouri #34’ on the back when he scored his first Champions League goal for Roma in October, at the Stadio Olimpico.

Ajax have a tribute display to him outside the megastore at the Johan Cruyff Arena, while they also renamed their young player of the year award after him and redesigned the trophy to mark his trademark celebration.

Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele never played with Nouri but he was so touched by the tragedy that he has the youngster’s name and number on his boots.

He also invited Nouri’s brother to the Champions League game between Barcelona and PSV in October.

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