BARÇA'S Lionel 'Leo' Messi made a dream come true for a group of children on a Caribbean beach during his family holiday ahead of the start of the Liga season by playing a match with his young fans. Messi,...
Mourners line streets of Utrera for José Antonio Reyes' funeral
By thinkSPAIN Team Mon, Jun 3, 2019
THOUSANDS of residents in the Sevilla province town of Utrera lined the pavements to give ex-Arsenal player José Antonio Reyes a standing ovation as his coffin was carried through the streets draped in the CF Sevilla coat of arms.
Reyes, 35, was killed outright in a crash the A-376 between Sevilla and Utrera, near the Alcalá de Guadaíra exit, on Saturday at 11.40 when he was on his way home from training.
A Guardia Civil reconstruction appears to show that, in a split second's lapse of attention, his car brushed against the crash barrier alongside the motorway, bursting a tyre and causing a series of 360º spins before catching fire.
Traffic police believe the vehicle was travelling at 237 kilometres per hour (147mph) at the time it hit the barrier.
Two of Reyes' male cousins were travelling in the car with him, one of whom was also killed immediately, whilst the other is in a critical condition in hospital with burns to 60% of his body.
The youngest player ever to make his début in the first division, Reyes started out with Sevilla CF when he was just 16, in 1999, and stayed with the club until the year 2003 when he was transferred to Arsenal for aroune €30 million.
Here, in the London-based UK club, José Antonio became the first-ever Spaniard to net a Premier League title, in 2004, then went on to win a Community Shield that same year and the FA Cup the next.
He moved to Real Madrid for one season in 2006, winning the Spanish League title in 2007, before playing for a year for Atlético de Madrid and then another with Benfica in Portugal, with whom he won a League Cup, before returning to Atlético until 2011.
In that year, Reyes went back to his first-ever club, Sevilla, and continued there for five years.
He was playing for the second-division Extremadura UD at the time of his death, having also played for RCD Espanyol, Córdoba CF and Xinjiang Tianshan in China in between.
José Antonio won five UEFA Europa League titles – two with Atlético de Madrid and three with Sevilla – plus a Europa Supercup in 2010 and an Intertoto Cup in 2007, both with Atlético.
He had also played on the Spanish national team – once in the Europe Under-19s, in 2002, which Spain won, and later, in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where Spain failed to win a place in the quarter-finals.
The mayor of Utrera declared two official days of mourning after Reyes' sudden death.
His coffin was placed on display in Utrera town hall with a chapel set up for friends, family, colleagues and fans to visit and pay tribute to him, before his coffin was moved at 09.00 this morning (Monday) to the Santa María de la Mesa church for a mass in his honour, and then to the crematorium.
The second photograph shows José Antonio Reyes when he was still playing for Sevilla during his second stint with the club between 2012 and 2016 (Gabriel Corbacho Bermejo on Wikimedia Commons).
You may also be interested in ...
More Sport content
TENNIS legends Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will face each other in an epic match in front of up to 50,000 spectators in an attempt to break the world record for audience size. The match between the current world...
BRITISH cycling legend Chris Froome has just found out he won the Vuelta a España eight years ago, after the Spanish victor was disqualified for doping. Cantabria rider Juanjo Cobo was declared positive, according to...
FATHER of five-times Formula 1 world Champion Lewis Hamilton says he wants to see Spain's Fernando Alonso back on the Grand Prix circuit since the sport 'needs someone like him'. Anthony Hamilton,...