Former AFTV regular Claude Callegari has sadly passed away at the age of 58, it has been announced. The 58-year-old was previously one of the most recognisable faces on the popular Gunners supporter-led YouTube channel, rebranded as AFTV in 2018, known for his criticism of former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
Claude, a taxi driver by trade – was a regular on the popular show until July 2020, when he was removed “indefinitely” after making a racist remark about Tottenham forward Son Heung-min. However, his cause of death has not been revealed yet.
Claude Callegari was indefinitely banned from AFTV in 2020 following his racial comments on Tottenham player Son-Hueng Min
A statement released on behalf of the family said: “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 forgotten. Gooner for life. Terry and Diesel.”
Tributes for the Arsenal fan, Claude has started to pour in since his death was announced. Arsenal legend striker Ian Wright took to his Twitter account to pay his respects. “RIP Claude” – Ian Wright
Former Gunners striker Kevin Campbell wrote: “Deepest condolences to Claude’s Father and family. I honestly am shocked and can’t believe it! May he R.I.E.P.”
Fellow AFTV personality ‘DT’ said: “I honestly don’t know what to say, as a likeminded, passionate, and fiery Arsenal fan we clashed many a time. But there were some really good times, he was the Godfather to all of us. I honestly hope you’re at peace now, Claude, thank you for the many fun times together R.I.P.”
During his time on the fan channel, Callegari became well-known for his loud and boisterous style, as well as his catchphrase ‘It’s Time To Go’, in reference to then-Gunners manager Unai Emery. Claude had responded to a hate tweet yesterday hinting that people who hate him would be happy to see him dead. The tweet has been retweeted many times following his death on Tuesday.