FORMER Birmingham striker Christian Benitez has died at the age of 27.
The Ecuador international, known as Chucho, suffered a cardiac arrest after he was admitted to hospital with severe stomach pain.
Benitez only last month joined Middle Eastern club El Jaish for £10million.
He had been a summer transfer target for Tottenham and was on loan at St Andrew’s in 2009-10.
An El Jaish statement said: “The club would like to offer its sincere condolences to the family of the player.
“Benitez had recently joined the club from Club America for three seasons.
“The player participated for the first time with the team during yesterday’s match against Qatar Sports Club in the Sheikh Jassem Cup without complaining of any health problems.
“His sudden departure is a big shock for each member of the technical and administrative staff. He was a player that over the short period he was here was regarded for his high moral character.