It has been announced that former Birmingham City defender Sam Oji has died.

Starting his career as a youth player with Arsenal in 2000, he joined the Blues in 2004 in search of first-team football, before featuring for Doncaster Rovers, Bristol Rovers and Leyton Orient. In July he became assistant manager of Highgate United.

Confirming the news on Twitter, the club said Oji was "our beloved captain, leader and legend". "The thoughts of all at Highgate United FC are with Sam's wife, children and family at this very sad time," they added.

The club released a statement on social media saying Oji was "extremely ill, but was still fighting like the warrior that he is". According to reports, he died of an illness he had been suffering from recently.

Although his cause of death was not immediately released, some clam COVID led to his passing. Oji also spent time in Ireland with Limerick and Galway, plus spells with Tamworth, Worcester City and Hednesford Town in non-league before joining Highgate United in 2018.

He was 35.