Club Bruges have confirmed the death of striker Francois Sterchele following a car accident in the early hours of Thursday morning.
The 26-year-old Belgium international lost control of his Porsche near the city of Antwerp before hitting a tree on the side of the road.
It has been reported that there were no other cars involved in the accident and that Sterchele was the only person in the car.
Bruges made a short statement, saying: "Club Brugge have be informed about the death of its player Francois Sterchele with alarm and consternation.
"The Board of Supervisory Directors of Club Brugge shares the pain of the heavily distressed family and we give them our deepest condolences."
Bruges signed Sterchele to a five-year contract last summer after buying him from fellow Jupiler League side Germinal Beerschot.
Sterchele's former teammate at Germinal, Jurgen Cavens, had been in contact with the player just hours before the accident.
"I have no words for this. On Wednesday evening we were sending each other some text messages to make an appointment," he said.
"We always got on very well together. I took him under my wing when he joined GBA. The club liked him and he did not have a care in the world. He had fun a lot."
Germinal manager Marc Brys told Sporza: "I am in total shock. This is so senseless. It's a shame that this accident typifies how fast Francois lived his life off the pitch.
"Sterchele was the most talented guy that I ever trained. He was wily, fast and intelligent.
"The fans and board also loved him, despite his extrovert side. He enjoyed the limelight but he knew when it was time to concentrate as well. This is devastating for his family."
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