Arsenal have paid tribute to former Arsenal Fan TV regular Claude Callegari after his death aged 58 while AFTV’s founder and presenter Robbie Lyle hopes the club will honour him.
The Gunners super fan had been part of the popular YouTube channel – which has 1.3million subscribers – since its launch in 2012 but was removed last year following a racist comment about Tottenham player Son Heung-min, having called him ‘DVD’.
Prior to leaving the channel, Claude was one of the show’s most popular contributors and noted for his many catchphrases, particularly as he urged the club to part company with Arsene Wenger, and launched his own YouTube channel after departing AFTV.
Claude was a regular at both the Emirates and most Arsenal away games and the north London club paid their respects to one of their most loyal fans following news of his passing.
‘Sending our condolences to Claude’s family, friends and everyone who cherished him,’ wrote the club on social media..
‘His passion for the club was undeniable and he will be missed.’
After Claude parted company with AFTV there were suggestions he had fallen out with founder Robbie, but the channel’s frontman rubbished that notion and urged the club to consider making a gesture when fans are allowed back in stadiums.
Sending our condolences to Claude's family, friends and everyone who cherished him
His passion for the club was undeniable and he will be missed ❤️
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) March 30, 2021
‘I’ve got nothing but love for him,’ said the AFTV presenter on Tuesday. ‘Contrary to rumours out there about a falling out and stuff like that, we still spoke.
‘There were so many things that went on between me and him behind the scenes that are private and will always be private.
‘All I’ll say is we’ve lost ourselves a real genuine guy, and we’ve lost ourselves a massive Arsenal fan. I’d love Arsenal to do something for him when football comes back because I can tell you there’s nobody who missed not being at the games as much as he did.
‘I’m really devasted right now. I want to just say to Claude: rest in peace. To his family: we’re here for you.’
AFTV have confirmed they will not be publishing any content on their YouTube channel over the coming days as they ‘come to terms with the news of Claude’s passing’.