Marc-Vivien Foe enjoyed a successful football career in Africa and Europe.
The tough-tackling midfielder was introduced to the big stage at World Cup USA in 1994.
And he was well known in France and England after spells with Lyon and Premiership clubs West Ham and Manchester City.
Although Cameroon were eliminated in the first round of World Cup 1994 amid a series of disputes over unpaid bonuses, Foe was a reliable force, respected on the field and well-liked off it.
He was instrumental in our success on our return to the Premiership and he got on well with everyone as a player and a friend
Man City chairman
At that time, he was still with his first professional club Canon Yaounde, in Cameroon.
But the following year, he transferred to Lens in the French top flight, where he remained for five seasons.
His performances were of sufficient quality to attract interest from Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson in 1998.
But the day before official negotiations for his transfer to the Premiership were due to start Foe broke his leg, and missed that summer's World Cup in France.
1994: Makes Cameroon World Cup squad
1997: Joins French side Lens from Cameroon's Canon Yaounde
1998: Breaks leg, missing World Cup and potential move to Man Utd
1999: Joins West Ham for £4m
2000: Moves to Lyon for £6m
2002: Member of Cameroon's African Nations Cup-winning side and World Cup squad; July - joins Man City on loan
2003: Plays 35 times for Man City, scoring nine goals, including the last goal at Maine Road
Despite the set-back, his dream of playing in England was soon realised when he signed for West Ham United midway through the 1998-9 season.
He failed to settle with the Hammers and after a move to Liverpool fell through, the midfielder returned to France with Lyon in the summer of 1999.
But when he re-joined the Premiership - on loan to Manchester City in 2002 - he made a far greater impact.
Foe's football helped the newly-promoted outfit stay in the top flight.
And he also carved a place in City history by scoring the club's last goal at Maine Road.
Foe appeared at four African Cup of Nations finals for his country.
He first played at South Africa in 1996.
And he was on the winning side at last year's final in Mali, when Cameroon beat Senegal on penalties.
Foe was an imposing presence in midfield and used his height to particular effect with aerial balls.
Together with captain Rigobert Song, he provided the back-bone for Cameroon's "Indomitable Lions".
Foe was known as an affable - if slightly shy - member of the national team.
And his presence on and off the field will be missed across the world.