Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Tributes paid to golf legend Seve

Golf legend Seve Ballesteros has died at the age of 54, his family have confirmed

Tributes have poured in for golf legend Seve Ballesteros after the former world number one player died aged 54 at his home in Spain.

The family of the popular Spaniard, who won five majors and was instrumental in growing golf's popularity, announced he had passed away at 1.10am today due to respiratory failure.

Ballesteros had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008.

Julian Small, chief executive of Wentworth Golf Club, where Ballesteros won five times, said: "Seve was a great champion. He was a swashbuckling man, a handsome man who really entertained the crowd."

The Seve Ballesteros Foundation, which Ballesteros set up following his diagnosis to help others with brain cancer, was the chosen charity for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Mr Small told Sky News: "He played such a fantastic game of golf. Wherever Seve went there was always a huge crowd. He saw the West course here at Wentworth as one of his favourite places to play.

"He is the pioneer, he is the person that has changed the shape in many ways - especially with the general public - of European golf. His way of playing, his whole charisma, he brought it to new markets, to new people, to new populations. He is Europe's version of Arnold Palmer, he is the person that really made that big difference."

Ballesteros had joined forces with Cancer Research UK to raise money for the charity to help fund research into brain cancer.

The chief executive of Cancer Research UK Harpal Kumar said: "We're very saddened to hear that Seve Ballesteros has lost his fight against brain cancer. I had the great honour of meeting Seve and his family at his home in Pedrena when we first established the Seve Ballesteros Foundation partnership in 2009 and my thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time.

"Seve was a hero to many for all he achieved during his career, but never more so than in the months after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. His personal battle against the disease, and his determination to help others through his Foundation, was truly inspirational."

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