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Jose Antonio Reyes: Extremadura pay tribute to former player



Extremadura players wore T-shirts with ‘Rest in peace legend’ on them

Spanish second division side Extremadura paid an emotional tribute to former player Jose Antonio Reyes in their first game since he died in a car crash on Saturday.

They beat Cadiz 1-0 on Tuesday night, a match rescheduled from Sunday after seven games in La Liga 2 were postponed as a mark of respect.

Former Arsenal winger Reyes, who died aged 35, joined the club in January, and they have retired his number 19 shirt.

The Extremadura players wore T-shirts with ‘Rest in peace legend’ on them, and held a minute’s silence before kick-off, while flowers were placed on a seat on their substitutes’ bench.

After Carlos Pomares’ goal in the 26th minute, the players held up one of the T-shirts in tribute.

The club said afterwards: “It [the win] is for you Jose Antonio. Extremadura [were able to] provide the best possible tribute to Reyes, who surely saw from heaven a new triumph for his team-mates.”

Spanish police told BBC Sport on Tuesday that former Sevilla captain Reyes was driving at more than 135mph (220kph) when his car crashed.

The Guardia Civil’s investigation is ongoing and although the car exceeded Spain’s speed limit of 75mph (120kph), it is not clear yet if that was the “final cause” of the incident.

Reyes’ funeral was held in his hometown of Utrera, Seville on Monday.

His cousin Jonathan Reyes was also killed in the crash.

More than 11,000 fans paid their respects to the five-time Europa League winner when his coffin was taken to Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium on Sunday.

A former Spain international, he was was part of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ side that went through the 2003-04 season unbeaten, winning the Premier League.

Extremadura players held up a T-shirt in tribute to Reyes
Granada players held a Reyes shirt as they celebrated promotion to La Liga on Tuesday night

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