Wednesday 26 June 2019

Crash probe continues as former Arsenal and Spain star Jose Antonio Reyes is laid to rest

The coffin of Jose Antonio Reyes is carried before a funeral mass in Seville after the former Spain midfielder was killed in a traffic accident at the age of 35. Photo: AP Photo/Miguel Morenatti
The coffin of Jose Antonio Reyes is carried before a funeral mass in Seville after the former Spain midfielder was killed in a traffic accident at the age of 35. Photo: AP Photo/Miguel Morenatti

Tom Morgan

Jose Antonio Reyes, the former Arsenal forward, will be buried in his native town of Utrera today as police continue to investigate the car crash which claimed his life on a Spanish motorway.

Fans and former La Liga team-mates paid their respects at a vigil yesterday after the former Real Madrid and Spain striker's body was taken to Sevilla's Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.

Jose Antonio Reyes. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Jose Antonio Reyes. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Reyes' 23-year-old cousin Jonathan also died in the accident. According to reports, the footballer was on his way home to his wife and three children after training, having not been picked by current club Extremadura to play against Cadiz.

Liverpool defender Alberto Moreno was in tears at the Champions League final, wearing a shirt reading "I love you brother". Moreno and Reyes played together at Sevilla between 2012, when Reyes returned to his childhood club, and in 2014, when Moreno left for Anfield. The pair won the Europa League together in 2014.

The striker's son Jose Antonio Reyes Jnr, the eldest of three children, also paid tribute to his father, thanking him in an emotional letter.

Reyes (35) made his professional debut with Sevilla at the age of 16, moving to Arsenal in January 2004 for £17m. He was part of the "Invincibles" squad who won the 2004 Premier League title without losing, scoring two league goals in 13 appearances. He also helped Arsenal win the FA Cup and Community Shield, as well as reaching the 2006 Champions League final.

Sevilla president Pepe Castro confirmed the footballer's coffin was taken to the club as he called him a "Sevilla legend". He said: "We are devastated. Sevilla has lost one of ours. We have been enormously hurt."

A third cousin, named as Juan Manuel Calderon, managed to get out of the vehicle and is understood to be in intensive care with serious burns. Local paper 'Diario de Sevilla', which said the vehicle had become a ball of fire, stated Reyes may have been driving at around 120mph, some 50mph over the limit, although the exact speed was yet to be determined by investigators.

Telegraph.co.uk

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