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Cardiff remember Sala on first anniversary of tragic death

 

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Paying tribute: Cardiff skipper Sean Morrison leaves service

Paying tribute: Cardiff skipper Sean Morrison leaves service

PA

Paying tribute: Cardiff skipper Sean Morrison leaves service

Cardiff management, players and supporters have paid tribute to Emiliano Sala on the first anniversary of the striker's death.

The Argentinian forward died on January 21, 2019 when the plane carrying him from Nantes in France to his new club Cardiff crashed in the English Channel.

The footballer's body was recovered from the wreckage, but pilot David Ibbotson, from Crowle, North Lincolnshire, has still not been found.

Bluebirds manager Neil Harris, captain Sean Morrison and Sol Bamba were among those to attend a dedication service to Sala and Ibbotson at St David's Cathedral in Cardiff city centre yesterday afternoon.

The flag of Argentina was placed inside the cathedral and its national anthem played as tributes and prayers were led by Archbishop of Cardiff George Stack, while Canon Peter Collins, a former administrator at the cathedral, gave two readings in Spanish.

Supporters arrived at the Cardiff City Stadium throughout the morning to pay tribute to Sala.

Fans left flowers, banners and shirts in memory of Sala, who was unveiled as a Cardiff player two days before his death.

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One tribute read: "We never saw you play and we never saw you score but Emiliano our beautiful Bluebird we will love you forever more."

A floral tribute quoted Sala's own words, saying: "I know the challenge is big but together we will make it." The message added: "Forever in our hearts."

An Argentinian flag was laid next to the Fred Keenor Statue, with the name 'Sala' written on it.

Cardiff expressed their sympathy to the friends and family of Sala on their official website.

"All of our thoughts are with the family and friends of Emiliano Sala and (pilot) David Ibbotson," said a Cardiff club statement on behalf of the owner Vincent Tan and the board.

"The pain they have been through over the last 12 months must be indescribable.

"To mark the anniversary we are welcoming supporters to lay floral tributes at the Fred Keenor Statue throughout the day."

Sala's family marked the anniversary of the striker's death in "private, quiet contemplation of their loss", their British lawyer said.

"The Sala family will mark the anniversary of the untimely death of Emiliano in private, quiet contemplation of their loss," Daniel Machover, of Hickman & Rose solicitors, and representing the family, said in a statement.

"The family's primary concern remains for the full inquest to take place as soon as possible, so that they can finally learn the truth about what happened and ensure that no family has to suffer a similar preventable loss of a loved one.

"Therefore, in the run-up to the pre-inquest review hearing on March 16, 2020, it is imperative that the coroner receives by February 14, 2020 (and then promptly shares with the family) the update required by the coroner from all investigating bodies - the police, CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and AAIB (Air Accidents Investigation Branch)

"The CAA in particular must speed up its work."

Nantes, for whom Sala scored 42 goals in 120 league games during three and a half years, will wear a special commemorative shirt at their Ligue 1 home game against Bordeaux on Sunday.


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