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Former Chelsea youth player Per Weihrauch has passed away at age 32

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Tragic news from Denmark

Soccer - Chelsea Reserves Photocall 2006 - Cobham Training Ground Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC Via Getty Images

Former Chelsea youth prospect Per Weihrauch has passed away. The news has been relayed by B.T. in Denmark, who state that the 32-year-old was found dead in his apartment earlier this month. The cause of death has not been made public.

His brother confirmed the news to the media outlet in a text message.

“It’s [been] really hard when Per’s death came as a huge surprise. I have only good things to say about my brother in relation to the fact that he was well-liked among all those he associated with, who also showed up for the funeral, where there was a really large attendance and flowers that I have never seen before.”

-Bo Weihrauch; source: B.T. via Google Translate

Weihrauch was heralded as one of the brightest football talents to come out of Denmark at the time, joining Ajax’s famed academy in 2005 at age 16 and then transferring soon after to Chelsea, where fellow Dane, Frank Arnesen was the technical director.

Unfortunately, Weihrauch’s time at both Ajax and Chelsea was marked largely by injuries and surgeries, and a particularly stubborn hamstring problem forced him to retire by 2008. After briefly attempting a comeback with a couple local teams, he went into football scouting and agenting, working with former Danish international (and Arnesen’s former teammate at Fremad and Ajax) Søren Lerby, before starting a career in finance a couple years ago.

“It’s awful at such a young age. I talked to him regularly. His death came completely out of nowhere. It’s sad. [...] To me, it seemed like he was really taking [things] strongly. And he [started] studying afterwards [too].

“I had an incredibly good relationship with Per. I took him with me after his football career and he worked for us for many years. He was a super guy. He was an amazingly skilled scout. He had such a good eye for it, and he was as credible and reliable as one could possibly be.”

“I often think of him. [...] I talked to his father, and we’re all sad. Per was really a friend.”

-Søren Lerby; source: B.T. via Google Translate

This seems like a good time — not that there is ever a bad time for this — to remind ourselves that football players are people, too, and not just objects moving around on our television screens.

And that you always have someone to talk to, even when it feels like you don’t.

André Schürrle, who retired in July at age 29 after growing disillusioned and wanting to spend more time with his family and away from the pressures and all the nonsense that comes with professional football, recently also opened up on how harsh life could be as a player — especially under a demanding coach like José Mourinho.

And just yesterday, Ben Chilwell took to social media to talk about the importance of mental health, using his own low period from last year as an example.

Be well and take care, everyone.