Former Arsenal FanTV pundit Claude Callegari has passed away at the age of 58 just two days after telling his social media followers that he was ‘going to disappear soon to see my mother then you can all be happy’.
On the afternoon of March 29, the lifelong Arsenal fan died with the cause that has yet to be described and his family has asked for privacy after his father announced the news.
One of his latest 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’ll disappear soon to see my mom, then you can all be happy to be’ .
Claude Callegari, of Arsenal Fan TV fame, has passed away at the age of 58, his family revealed
Two days before he died, Callegari tweeted a critic that he would ‘soon disappear’
A statement was released about ‘legend’ Callegari with tributes pouring in for the expert
A statement issued on behalf of the family read: ‘We cannot believe we are writing this, with permission from Claude’s father, it is with great sadness and heartbreak that we have to announce that our dear friend and legend Claude has sadly passed away yesterday afternoon 29 March.
‘RIP dear friend, gone but never forgotten. Gooner for life. ‘
In response to the sad news, AFTV posted an emotional tribute to one of their most famous contributors.
‘We are absolutely devastated today by the death of Claude Callegari, one of the channel’s most popular contributors,’ tweeted AFTV.
Callegari (right) became a regular part of the YouTube channel, which has 1.32 million subscribers
In response to the news, AFTV said they are “devastated” to lose “one of the channel’s most popular contributors.” They added that they will not be uploading any new content for the next few days
Claude was a much loved figure during his time on the channel and his passion for Arsenal allowed him to connect with fans from all over the world on a meaningful level.
“We continued to support Claude privately 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 the wider Arsenal community.”
In a video entitled ‘RIP Claude Callegari | Father, grandfather, friend and a proud Arsenal fan‘, AFTV presenter Robbie Lyle addressed the death of his good friend.
“I remember about six weeks ago when there were a few people who called me and told me he was having problems, so I called him up,” Lyle said.
“I said,” Claude, how are you? I heard there are some problems. He said, “No, no, Robbie, I’m fine.” It was around the anniversary of his mother’s death and that he his mother was missing.
‘The man had a heart of gold and I have nothing but love for him. We’ve lost a real real guy, a huge Arsenal fan and I would love to see Arsenal do something for him when football returns. I am devastated. ‘
Moh Haider, another AFTV pundit, posted an emotional tribute to Callegari on Tuesday
Actor Matt Lucas, a prominent Arsenal fan, tweeted his message for ‘legend’ Callegari
AFTV later confirmed that they would not be posting any more videos or new content for the next few days as they accept Callegari’s passing.
Tributes quickly came in for the popular Arsenal fan following the news of his passing on Monday.
Actor and comedian Matt Lucas paid his respects to Callegari, writing, “RIP Claude. AFTV legend. X.’
Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell was among those who offered condolences to his heartbroken friends and family.
He tweeted: ‘Deep condolences to Claude’s father and family. I am honestly shocked and cannot believe it! May he RIEP ‘
Former Tottenham and Chelsea striker Graham Roberts detailed a meeting with Callegari in his condolence message.
He tweeted: ‘Had the pleasure of meeting Claude in my flat last year with @ 1MickyHazard and @rocketrichman, @abbi_summers, @thenewtommitch he was a great guy and a real laugh. I know he had some personal issues but he had a great heart and rivalry apart from that we had a great night. Rip buddy. ‘
Former Tottenham striker Graham Roberts shared a meeting he had with Callegari in tribute
Ex-Arsenal forward Kevin Campbell was among those who quickly offered his condolences to the family
Former Everton and Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie expressed condolences to the expert
Moh Haider, one of Callegari’s fellow experts on the YouTube channel, wrote: Really sad to learn that Claude has passed away.
Claude was an incredibly passionate @ Arsenal man and 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 Claude passed away peacefully and painlessly, and my condolences go out to all his family, friends, fans and all the millions of people who smiled because of Claude. Rest in peace Claude. ‘
Troopz, another popular contributor before he left the channel last year, said, ‘You showed me love from the start, put my misses at ease when she came to events and always showed my kids love. I hope you finally have peace, godfather. RIP legend. ‘
Former Crystal Palace and Everton winger Yannick Bolasie tweeted, ‘RIP Claude. AFTV certiii, condolences to all of his family. ‘
Callegari fans shared clips of his famous rants and arguments on Arsenal FanTV with his most iconic call for Unai Emery to be fired.
“IT’S TIME TO GO!” quickly became synonymous with Callegari’s post-game interviews outside the Emirates Stadium.
Claude (back left) has not appeared on the popular YouTube channel since he was dropped for a ‘DVD’ comment targeting Tottenham’s Son Heung-min in the North London derby last July.
Callegari hadn’t appeared on AFTV since July last year after being impeached for calling Tottenham’s Son Heung-min a ‘DVD’ during a live stream of a North London derby.
Callegari said ‘DVDs go out’ as the South Korean was substituted for Tottenham’s 2-1 win in the 94th minute.
The reference to selling DVDs at a market stall is a racist term that has been directed against Asian footballers, including Son, in the past.
Callegari later received a remorseful apology published on social media, insisting it was not intended to be a racist slur.