30 YEARS AFTER OKWARAJI, 37-YEAR-OLD WORLD CUP PLAYER DIES IN SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCE

30 YEARS AFTER OKWARAJI, 37-YEAR-OLD WORLD CUP PLAYER DIES IN SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCE

On the 30th anniversary of the death of former Nigerian football midfielder, Samuel Okwaraji, a former World Cup footballer, Walter Martinez died of heart attack. Aged 37, Martinez played for Honduras at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

According to reports from his former club Beijing Guoan, Martinez died of a heart attack in New York on Monday which was also the 30th anniversary of the death of Samuel Okwaraji of Nigeria who died of apparent heart attack while prosecuting a World Cup qualifying match for Nigeria.

Martinez helped Honduras reach the World Cup in 2010 for just the second time in their history he scored 12 goals in 49 games for his country.

In an 18-year career, Martinez also played for MLS side San Jose Earthquakes and Spanish club Alaves, before retiring in 2016.

The Honduran FA confirmed his passing on courtesy of a tweet on its official Twitter account.

“With sadness that overwhelms the family of Honduran football, we regret the death of Walter Julian Martinez.

“Solidarity and a balm of divine peace for your family and friends. RIP.”

Martinez netted six times in 20 appearances before bowing out of the game in 2015.

Martinez, who reportedly joined Chinese Super League side Beijing Gouan last year, saw supporters lay flowers in his honour in front of the club’s stadium after hearing of his demise.

Martinez is reported to have suffered the heart attack while at the home of a teammate Jose Chepo Fernandez in New York.

Fernandez was quoted as saying to a Honduran newspaper that they took time out at an El Copaneco club in the Bronx area of the city where they stayed until the wee hours.

But surprisingly after a few hours he found Martinez on the floor of his bedroom.

“I was inside my room and when I left I found him on the floor. I tried to revive him but I couldn’t.

“Immediately I called the ambulance and minutes later they were there but nothing could be done,” Fernandez said.

Martinez scored 12 goals in 49 caps for Honduras.

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