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Fans have flooded social media with tributes to former AFTV personality Claude Callegari following the news that he has passed away, aged 58.
In a statement from Twitter account @ClaudeBanstas, the account shared the sad news - with permission from his father - that Callegari passed on the afternoon of March 29.
It read: "We can't believe we are writing this, with permission from Claude's father, it is with great sadness and a broken heart that we have to announce that our dear friend and legend Claude sadly passed away yesterday afternoon 29th March.
"We ask that you please respect the privacy of Claude, his family and friends and be respectful at this extremely sad time.
"RIP dear friend, gone but never be forgotten. Gooner for life. Terry & Diesel."
We can't believe we are writing this, with permission from Claude's father, it is with great sadness and a broken heart that we have to announce that our dear friend and legend Claude sadly passed away yesterday afternoon 29th March. pic.twitter.com/GULZVXxsah
- CLAUDE AND THE BANSTA'S (@ClaudeBanstas) March 30, 2021
Callegari was a popular member of the YouTube fan channel and featured for a number of years alongside the likes of Robbie Lyle, Taiwo Ogunlabi (Ty), Liam Goodenough (DT) and Aumar Hamilton (Troopz).
Some of his most viewed moments include a passionate debate with Ty after Arsenal suffered a 3-2 away defeat against Stoke City, as well as a quite emotional celebration after The Gunners lifted the FA Cup in 2014.
Last year, AFTV posted a compilation of his best bits as seen below.
Following the sad news, many took to social media to pay tribute to fan-favourite Claude, including a tribute video from AFTV's official YouTube channel.
One of the most honest and humble guys I've ever met, lost his
battle to mental health today.
Claude you won't be forgotten, you're a legend to the community.
God will treat you well :heart: pic.twitter.com/LXyFu4nDjE
- Theo (@Thogden) March 30, 2021
Absolutely gutted to hear about Claude's passing. Worked with him a number of times over the years and was he always lovely.
Rest in peace mate https://t.co/2akS4Aa3tk pic.twitter.com/aIJTjmfba0
- Paul (Maych) Machin (@ThePaulMachin) March 30, 2021
I'm absolutely gutted about Claude. Was always the first to put his arm round my shoulder and talk, and after shoots we'd often spend an hour or two just chatting. He fought his demons and was always such a kind soul. I'm devastated. Speak to your friends. RIP @ClaudeBanstas :heart: pic.twitter.com/7IspcRrqAU
- Louis Beneventi (@Louis_Beneventi) March 30, 2021
Always Be kind. Please. :heart:
RIP Claude. pic.twitter.com/pSMzIM6Zj2
- Chris Davison (@cdavison_afc) March 30, 2021
Unbelievably sad news coming out today. RIP Claude. A true old school gooner who made a lot of people smile and laugh throughout the years. :dove::red_circle:#Arsenal pic.twitter.com/8UuY2sZZLQ
- Arsenal News Channel (@Arsenalnewschan) March 30, 2021
I can't believe it. I'm gutted to hear that Claude has passed away. He was such a nice person. Wouldn't even hurt a fly. I've had the pleasure of speaking with him many times and he was always full of banter. Passionate but unfortunately affected by people's words. RIP mate :pensive: pic.twitter.com/ZpVDyDujU7
- Younes H-Hamou (@youneshh) March 30, 2021
R.I.P. Claude this is a sad feeling. I remember going to games and seeing you after matches where you would see me and say Hi Sam and give me a wave.
Very passionate fan and someone who knew what the club meant.
- Sam Uddin (@Officialelsamo) March 30, 2021
This was always my favourite Claude interview on AFTV, just perfectly encompasses what an absolute gentleman he was and what Arsenal meant to him. Rest Easy Don :heart::pray: pic.twitter.com/8IcgrOLgdd
- Out Of Context AFTV (@AFTVRelated) March 30, 2021
Our thoughts go out to Claude's friends and family. Rest in peace.
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