Beijing Guoan fans hold memorial after death of former player Walter Martinez
Hundreds of Beijing Guoan fans gathered at the North Gate of Beijing Workers' Stadium on Tuesday to remember former player Walter Martinez, who died of a heart attack on Monday in New York City.
He was 37.
People put flowers, jerseys and scarves at the commemoration site for former Beijing Guoan forward Walter Martinez in front of Beijing Worker Stadium in Beijing on Aug 13, 2019. [Photo: IC]
Nicknamed Pery, Martinez played for Guoan in two spells starting from 2007.He capped 81 games, scoring 37 goals.
Martinez also played in all three of Honduras’ games at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
"When I heard the sad news, I just finished my class for the kids, and I was shocked, I couldn't believe it. Because I thought he was still very young and very active, I don't want to accept it," said Miss Jia, an English teacher and Beijing Guoan fan.
Walter Martinez waves goodbye to fans at Beijing Workers Stadium as he plays the final game for Beijing Guoan in the 2010-2011 season in a 3-2 defeat to Shanxi Renhe in the Chinese Super League on Oct 29, 2011. [File photo: IC]
"I couldn't come here yesterday due to the heavy rain. I cannot wait to come today after work and bought a bottle of local liquor. I didn't have the opportunity to drink with him before so I want to present him a bottle of liquor. He played for Guoan before and he loved Beijing and hoped Beijing's football could be better. He was a nice guy and I respect him. He was very professional," said Mr. Liu, also a Beijing Guoan supporter.
The memorial at Guoan's home stadium will last until this weekend.