Premier League - Altidore plays despite death of mentor

Jozy Altidore has revealed Sunderland's 3-1 Barclays Asia Trophy victory over Tottenham was the hardest game of his life following the death of his boyhood mentor.

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Football - Altidore sees bigger picture
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Jozy Altidore, Sunderland (AFP)

The 23-year-old striker ran out at the Hong Kong Stadium on Wednesday a day after learning that his first coach, Josef Schulz, had lost his battle with cancer at the age of 61.

Altidore told the Sunderland Echo: "For me, it was always going to be a difficult game. It was probably the hardest game of my life because on Tuesday, I had some bad news.

"The guy who got me into football lost his fight with cancer. Everything I've known has come from him, so it was a really difficult game.

"But I was happy that I could play and show the guys that I'm committed. That was the biggest thing for me, to show I care and that I'm committed.

"I'm a private guy, I haven't really talked about it. I didn't care if anyone knew about it.

"But these guys have been working so hard that I owed it to them to go out on the pitch and give something to them."

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