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Jose Antonio Reyes’ funeral held in Utrera

The 35-year-old was killed in a car crash on June 1.

Jose Antonio Reyes’ funeral took place in Spain on Monday, (Miguel Morenatti/AP)
Jose Antonio Reyes’ funeral took place in Spain on Monday, (Miguel Morenatti/AP)

The funeral of former Arsenal and Spain forward Jose Antonio Reyes took place in his hometown of Utrera on Monday, following his death in a car crash on Saturday.

Reyes’ coffin was draped in the flag of Sevilla, where he came through the ranks before returning in 2012 to win three Europa League titles under current Arsenal boss Unai Emery.

A Premier League and FA Cup winner with the Gunners, Reyes died at the age of 35, with tributes subsequently pouring in from across the world of football.

Emery and former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger were among those who paid their respects, as well as team-mates and other players.

Saturday’s Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham – hosted by another of Reyes’ former clubs, Atletico Madrid – was preceded by a period of reflection following the news earlier in the day.

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Reyes joined Arsenal in January 2004 (John Stillwell/PA)

His family issued a statement through a spokesman, thanking everyone for their support.

“We would like to extend our most sincere gratitude to all those people, entities, institutions, teams from all over the world and especially to the royal house, who have shown in different ways their heartfelt expressions of condolence for the death of Jose Antonio Reyes,” it read.

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Tottenham and Liverpool players paid their respects to Reyes before their Champions League final clash (Peter Byrne/PA)

“Our gratitude also to all those who accompany us in mourning, as well as to those who, through different social networks, sent messages of love and consolation for the loss of our beloved football player.

“Likewise, we would like to extend this gratitude to the entire family that makes up the Sevilla Futbol Club and the City Council of Utrera, for publicly expressing their regret at the death of our beloved and always remembered friend and for all the support shown. To you all, thank you very much.”

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The funeral was held in Reyes’ hometown of Utrera (Miguel Morenatti/AP)

Capped 21 times by Spain, Reyes left Sevilla for Arsenal in January 2004 and was part of the ‘Invincibles’ side which went through that season unbeaten to win the Premier League.

He also won the 2005 FA Cup despite being sent off in the final against Manchester United, before a loan spell at Real Madrid saw Reyes lift the LaLiga title.

Two Europa League wins followed after a permanent move to Atleti, and a return to Sevilla in 2012 saw him lift the trophy a further three times.

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Reyes won the last of five Europa League titles when Sevilla beat Liverpool in 2016, although he did not play due to injury (David Davies/PA)

Reyes was registered with Segunda Division outfit Extremadura at the time of his death, having signed a short-term deal earlier this year.

The Sevilla statement that announced Reyes’ death said his cousin, Jonathan Reyes, had also died in the crash.

PA

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