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Former Ajax player & DR Congo international Lukoki dies aged 29

13:23 WAT 09/05/2022
Jody Lukoki, Ludogorets Razgrad
The three-time Eredivisie winner had been working his way back to full fitness following his exit from Twente earlier this year

Former Ajax star and DR Congo international Jody Lukoki has passed away at the age of 29.

The late winger, a three-time Eredivisie winner, was let go by his most recent club FC Twente in February, following a prolonged lay-off with a knee injury and off-field personal issues.

The cause of death remains unknown, but has left his former clubs reeling at the news, with several paying tribute to the former star, thrice capped for his country between 2015 and 2019.

What has been said by his former clubs?

"The club is shocked and deeply moved by this tragic event," a statement on the FC Twente website said.

"FC Twente sympathizes with his loved ones and wishes them a lot of strength in processing this great loss."

Ajax meanwhile posted a tribute to their social media channels honouring the late player.

Lukoki's life in football

Born in Kindu, Zaire in 1992, Lukoki immigrated to the Netherlands with his family amid the First Congo War, where he was subsequently raised in Amsterdam.

He joined the Ajax youth ranks in 2003 and rose through their academy system before making his senior debut in 2011, and went on to become a three-time Eredivisie winner, playing his biggest role amid the 2012-13 campaign.

A loan move to Cambuur in 2013-14 was followed by a permanent one to PEC Zwolle, before Lukoki swapped countries and embarked on a successful stay with Bulgarian First League outfit Ludogorets Razgrad.