Enrique Castro, known to the world as ‘Quini’, has died at the age of 68 in Gijón after suffering a heart attack. Quini is the most important footballer in the history of Sporting, and also shone for Barcelona and the Spanish national team.
Quini: seven-time Pichichi winner
Quini, who spent the last few years as the director of institutional relations at his beloved Sporting, recovered from throat cancer in 2008 after passing through the operating theatre.
Spanish football has lost a legendary figure. Quini wrote himself in to the annals of sporting memory by winning seven ‘Pichichi’ prizes – awarded to the top scorer in the league – with five of those in the Primera División.
He arrived at Sporting in 1968 after cutting his teeth at lower-league Ensidesa. He went on to mark and era in Gijón, until he left for Barcelona in 1980. It was during his four seasons in Catalonia that Quini suffered the most traumatic episode of his life. After a 6-0 home victory against Hércules on March 1st 1981, he was kidnapped at gunpoint by two men, forced in to a van, and held for 25 days. Spain was on tenterhooks. He was eventually rescued unharmed, and returned to Sporting in 1984 before hanging up his boots three years later with 608 games and 305 goals to his name.
Mass to be held at El Molinón
Quini featured 35 times for Spain, playing in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina and the 1982 World Cup on home soil, as well as the 1980 European Championship in Italy. He scored eight goals for La Roja.
The president of Sporting – Javier Fernández – has stated that the funeral chapel will be prepared at the club’s El Molinón stadium from 12:00 on Wednesday. At 20:00 there will be a mass held in the stands.
LaLiga has informed clubs that there will be a minute silence before the next round of fixtures in LaLiga and LaLiga 1,2,3.