Oji spent time with Limerick and Galway in Ireland as well as spells with Tamworth, Worcester City and Hednesford Town in non-league before joining Highgate United in 2018.

A statement on Friday night read: “There has been various comments posted across social media throughout the day with regards the welfare of Samuel Oji. Sam is extremely ill but still fighting like the warrior that he is.

“We would like people to respect the privacy of his family and close friends at this very difficult time. The club will release further details in due course. Can we ask all to refrain from posting any further comments. Thank you.”

Tributes have poured in for Oji from around the world of football.

Oji spent several years at Birmingham City after leaving ArsenalOji joined Leyton Orient when he left Birmingham after a loan spell at the club

Oji spent several years at Birmingham City after leaving Arsenal ( Image: BPM)

Oji joined Leyton Orient when he left Birmingham after a loan spell at the club

Former Aston Villa and England star Lee Hendrie tweeted: “So sad to hear the news about the big man @SamuelOji_24.

“One of the nicest guys you meet on and off the pitch. Thinking of the family. Gone far to soon. R.I.P big man.”

Former club Limerick FC wrote: “Tragic news this morning as former Limerick F.C player Samuel Oji has passed away.

“Signed under Stuart Taylor, Sam was an outstanding player and more importantly, an outstanding person.

“Sincere condolences from all at the club go to his family, friends and loved ones. RIP.”

( Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer)

Leyton Orient tweeted: “We’re deeply saddened to learn the news that former player Sam Oji has passed away.