Manchester City have paid tribute to former academy player Jeremy Wisten, who has died aged 17.

Wisten, who was born in Malawi, played for City’s youth teams after joining the club in 2016.

City forward Raheem Sterling and defender Aymeric Laporte also paid tribute to Wisten.

In a statement, the club said: “The Manchester City family are saddened to learn of the passing of former academy player Jeremy Wisten.”

The statement continued: “We send our deepest condolences to his friends and family. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.”

England international Sterling responded on Twitter with prayers and a rose emoji, while Laporte said: “Horrible news… RIP young man.”

Another post on Twitter, on behalf of Wisten’s former school, Wellington School in Timperley, Greater Manchester, read: “The thoughts and prayers of the Wellington community are with the family and friends of former student and Manchester City academy player Jeremy Wisten, who has tragically passed away. May he rest in peace.”

The heartbroken parents of a former Manchester City academy player have paid a moving tribute to their son after his shock death aged just 18.

Jeremy Wisten was found unresponsive at the family home in Wythenshawe on Saturday and despite the best efforts of medics he could not be saved.

Jeremy was an extremely talented footballer and was, until May 2019, part of the Blues academy set-up with tributes having flooded in from both former teammates and first team stars.

His father Manila, 53, and mother, Grace Wisten, 46, said they “couldn’t have asked for a better son” and that they will “miss him so much.”

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News Manila said: “We are very saddened and shocked by our son’s death. “We love him and always will love him. “He was a very happy boy who was taken away too soon.

“He was very friendly and always smiling.

“He loved football and was aiming for a career in the game.

Former teammates and City first team stars have paid tribute to Jeremy

“He was very popular at Manchester City, at school and with his friends.

“Not just here but also in his homeland in Malawi.”

“We have been inundated with messages from different types of people we would not expect to hear from” he added.

“We are very grateful for that and it has helped us to cope.

“But it is still so difficult to understand how we came to be in this situation.”

Jeremy, who turned 18 earlier this month and who has two sisters aged 20 and 27, came to the UK from Malawi with his family in 2003 when he was just a baby, living in Trafford before moving to Wythenshawe three years ago.

He attended Altrincham Church of England Primary School and Wellington high school in Timperley before later moving to St Bede’s College in south Manchester.

His family said the United supporting teenager, who was a centre-back but could play across the defence, played for Altrincham FC and De La Salle FC in Salford before becoming part of City’s Elite Squad at under-13 level in 2016.