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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Football community in mourning

Top Norwegian football officials were mourning the death of Knut Torbjørn Eggen, a 51-year-old former player, coach and well-known commentator who was found dead in his home on Monday. Eggen was the won of Norway’s legendary football coach for Trondheim club Rosenborg, Nils Arne Eggen, and had built up a career in the sport himself.

“This is terribly sad,” Egil “Drillo” Olsen, coach of Norway’s national football team, told reporters. “I have lost a good friend and colleague.” Others expressing shock and condolences included former national coach Nils Johan Semb, now head of Norway’s football association, and star players and coaches such as Ståle Solbakken, Åge Hareide, Trond Sollied and Erik Hoftun.

The younger Eggen had started his career playing for Orkdal, Rosenborg and Ålesund, moved on to coaching and management positions with both Rosenborg and, ultimately, the Fredrikstad football club where he helped guide a return to the top leagues. He most recently had been working as a commentator for Viasat, sports chief for the Wang top athletic institute and as a talent scout and coach for young players.

No cause of death was reported by Norwegian media, which referred to his death as “tragic” or “a tragedy,” descriptions commonly used in cases of suicide that largely go unreported when they involve Norwegians. Newspaper Dagsavisen reported that Eggen himself had revealed in a book he’d co-authored with his father that he’d suffered from psychological problems for year, and that he’d lately been open about his problems himself.

Eggen is survived by his wife and two children. A family spokesman told news bureau NTB that they did not want to comment on Eggen’s death and that their greatest wish was “to mourn in peace.”

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