Tributes from the world of football to Kevin Campbell show he was "hugely popular" and an "amazing character", England boss Gareth Southgate said.

Campbell (left in pic), who died at the aged 54 following a short illness, started his playing career at Arsenal and won the top-flight title, FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup with the club, as well as also playing for Leicester City, Nottingham Forest, Everton, West Brom, Cardiff City, Leyton Orient and Turkish club Trabzonspor. He made his final appearance as a player in February 2007 before moving into broadcasting. Speaking before England's Euro 2024 win against Serbia, Southgate said: "Kevin is about the same age as me.

"I remember him being in the Arsenal youth team at a similar time and playing against him in reserve team football. A hugely popular man, his son, Tyrese, has been in our junior pathway as well.

"Our thoughts are very much with his family at this time and some of the tributes have been fabulous. Clearly, people who knew him better than I did talk about what an amazing character he was - a very sad day!"

On a day of double tragedy in the game in England, it was also announced that Millwall’s 26-year-old goalkeeper and Montenegro international Matija Sarkic, had died. Southgate went on to say: "I know that some of our players and staff actually played and worked with Matija as well so both pieces of news were received with shock and great sadness.

“Those boys that played with him are feeling that even more." Millwall stopper, Sarkic (right in pic), had played for his country in a 2-0 defeat to Belgium only last week.

Prior to joining the Lions, he had spells at Wolves and Aston Villa, playing alongside England defender Ezri Konsa and goalkeeper Tom Heaton. He also shared a dressing room with England striker, Ivan Toney, when both were on loan at Wigan, while England’s goalkeeping coach Martyn Margetson worked with him at Swansea.

“I know that some of our players and staff actually played and worked with Matija as well, so both pieces of news were received with shock and great sadness,” Southgate said. “Clearly those boys that played with him are feeling that even more.”

24-year-old Tyrese (Campbell) - a striker who has spent the past seven seasons at Championship side Stoke City - called the pain of losing his dad as "indescribable". He went on to say: "He was the life and soul of every party and room he blessed, a one-in-a-million person that was loved by everyone."

Kevin Campbell made his senior debut for Arsenal in 1988 and scored nine goals in 22 appearances for the Gooners during their title-winning campaign in 1990-91. He then helped the London club win the FA Cup and League Cup double in 1993, followed by the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1994.

Former Crystal Palace striker, Clinton Morrison, said: "Being a London boy and growing up watching him and Ian Wright playing together was brilliant for us youngsters.

"The way they scored goals and the way they celebrated, that's how we were, looking up to those two players as idols. Kev was like that even when he finished football. He still had that bright smile and I only remember the good stuff, brightening up a room and being a top player and a great individual."

Campbell moved from Arsenal to Forest in 1995 and spent three seasons at the City Ground, scoring 22 goals in 39 games during his final campaign to help the club win promotion to the Premier League. Following a short stint with Trabzonspor, he moved to Everton on loan in March 1999, scoring nine times in their final eight Premier League games to help the Toffees avoid relegation.

He was rewarded with a permanent deal that summer and stayed for more than five seasons. Campbell's playing career came to an end with spells at West Brom and Cardiff.

"I’ve been watching the TV and everybody who’s come on has said exactly the same thing, what a great guy he was," said former Everton defender Phil Jagielka, who joined the Goodison Park club after Campbell had left.

"He made a lot of people laugh; he always had a good smile on his face. I’d seen him around and about the place at Goodison. I played with his son Tyrese at Stoke.

“A really, really sad day for the family and all you can do is send your regards and, hopefully, they will get through this tough period. What a guy, what gentleman, what a character. I don’t think I ever saw him without a smile on his face and he was always one of those people to come up to you and give you a hug and have a little bit of a laugh and a joke."

A host of ex-team-mates also paid tribute to him. Former Arsenal striker Wright posted a number of crying emojis on X and images of the pair together.

"I can't talk about it too much because I well up. He meant the whole world to a lot of people, especially myself," he said. "Super Kev - a goal machine, a giant of a man with an even bigger heart," said former Gunners captain Tony Adams.

"An intensely private and truly wonderful human being. I'm devastated for his loved ones and all of us. Love you Super Kev." Campbell was at Everton when Wayne Rooney burst on to the football scene as a teenager.

"Kev was a great team-mate but more importantly a brilliant person who helped me a lot in my earlier years," said Rooney. Former Tottenham keeper Paul Robinson added: "He graced our lives in the media and we all got to experience a little bit of his charm.

"We’ve lost one of life’s good guys today, a genuinely lovely man." Former England striker Alan Shearer said that he was lucky enough to play with Campbell for the England Under-21s, as well as also work with him on TV over the years.

"He had an infectious personality and a great character," said Shearer.

"You can see with the outpouring of grief just how much he will be missed. Sending our condolences to all his family and friends.”

Meanwhile, the Montenegro Football Association (FSCG) said Sarkic died suddenly on Saturday morning, with local media reporting he collapsed at his apartment in Budva. The FSCG described Sarkic as a "beloved member" of the national squad and an "eternally smiling guy".

"His untimely death has caused great pain to the Sarkic family," it added. Millwall said they were "completely devastated.

"Everyone at the club sends their love and condolences to Matija's family and friends at this immensely sad time." Sarkic, who was born in Grimsby, played youth-team football for Belgian side Anderlecht before also playing for Aston Villa.

Football pundit Micah Richards was at Villa when Sarkic was in the academy and paid his tribute, saying: "He was a young lad coming through at Aston Villa, trained with the first team and when I got the news I was absolutely devastated.

"Just 26 years of age, gone way too soon. I have been a little bit down all day, thinking about it and I just want to send my condolences to his family."

The English Football Association, the Professional Footballers' Association and the English Football League also offered their condolences to Sarkic's family and friends.