Thierry Henry pays tribute to ‘exceptional human being’ Reyes on social media
The former Arsenal footballer Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a car crash at the age of 35.
Arsenal hero Thierry Henry described former teammate and fellow ‘invincible’ Jose Antonio Reyes as a “wonderful player, superb team mate and exceptional human being” after the 35-year-old died in a car crash.
Reyes’ former club Sevilla announced on Saturday the Spanish winger had died in a traffic collision, while Henry said he was “devastated to hear the sad news” adding the hashtag “#takenfartoosoon”.
I’m devastated to hear the sad news about José Antonio Reyes. Wonderful player, superb team mate and exceptional human being. I wish his family and friends continued strength and courage to get through this difficult time. #takenfartoosoon— Thierry Henry (@ThierryHenry) June 1, 2019
We couldn't be confirming worse news. Beloved Sevilla star José Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/qeGl2nsi3c— Sevilla FC (@SevillaFC_ENG) June 1, 2019
Reyes joined Arsenal in January 2004 and helped the club complete their unbeaten league campaign for the remainder of that season, as well as contributing to the club’s run to the Champions League final in 2006.
The Gunners tweeted: “Everyone at Arsenal is devastated by the shocking news that our former player Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision in Spain.”
Everyone at Arsenal is devastated by the shocking news that our former player Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision in Spain.— Arsenal (@Arsenal) June 1, 2019
Jose Antonio Reyes: 1983-2019
Rest in peace, Jose ❤️ pic.twitter.com/AT6rLFutvI
Arsene Wenger signed Reyes for Arsenal, and he told the club on Saturday: “I am devastated to hear the terrible news about Jose.
“To his family and friends, all support from everyone in the Arsenal family. He will remain forever in our hearts.”
"I am devastated to hear the terrible news about Jose.— Arsenal (@Arsenal) June 1, 2019
"To his family and friends, all support from everyone in the Arsenal family.
"He will remain forever in our hearts."
- Arsène Wenger pic.twitter.com/nrq6ldkSap
Cesc Fabregas wrote a heartfelt message on Twitter reminiscing about the time he spent with Reyes, who he described as his “first great friend in the world of professional football, my room-mate, who always wanted to sleep with the air conditioning on even when it was -10 degrees.”
The Monaco and Spain midfielder, who joined Arsenal as a 16-year-old 2003, also said Reyes was a “humble guy who always had a smile on his face, a great footballer and a phenomenal person.”
He added: “I’ll never forget when you and your family welcomed me into your home during my first Christmas in England when I was alone and 16 years old.
“I’ll never forget our games of football tennis in the gym before and after training. Our connection on the pitch was also special.
— Cesc Fàbregas Soler (@cesc4official) June 1, 2019
“I always said that you have been one of the greatest talents in our football and I know I’m not wrong.
“Two days ago I was talking about you in an interview, maybe it was a sign, who knows, to remember you, my great friend. I’ll never forget you, we’ll never forget you. Always in our hearts. Rest in peace Jose Antonio Reyes. I love you very much.”
Other former Arsenal colleagues in the form of Freddie Ljungberg, Ray Parlour, Robert Pires and Abou Diaby shared tributes on social media too, along with current Gunners boss Unai Emery.
Ljungberg said he was “numbed by the news” about his former teammate, while Parlour described the former Spain international as a “great talent”.
Numbed by the news about my former team-mate, Jose Antonio Reyes. Gone far too soon, my thoughts are with his family and friends— Freddie Ljungberg (@freddie) June 1, 2019
So Sad 😢 team mate of mine and great talent RIP Jose https://t.co/kN5YYubP0a— Ray Parlour (@RealRomfordPele) June 1, 2019
Devastated to hear the very sad news about my dear friend Jose Antonio Reyes. Rest In Peace— robert pires (@piresrobert7) June 1, 2019
Very sad to hear the news about José Antonio Reyes. An amazing player and a wonderful team mates. My thoughts are with all his family and friends. Rest in peace.— Abou DIABY (@AbouVDIABY) June 1, 2019
Emery tweeted his condolences in Spanish that translated as: “Deeply sad and speechless after learning of this tragic news. I’ll never forget your magic and your smile Jose, never. It was an honour to be by your side…a strong hug and all the spirit of the world to family, friends and clubs he represented. RIP friend.”
Profundamente triste y sin palabras tras conocer esta trágica noticia. Nunca olvidaré tu magia y tu sonrisa Jose, nunca. Fue un honor estar a tu lado... un fuerte abrazo y todo el ánimo del mundo a familiares, amigos y clubes a los que representó. RIP amigo pic.twitter.com/MHBonp8k8N— Unai Emery (@UnaiEmery_) June 1, 2019
Arsenal’s north London rivals Tottenham, meanwhile, paid their respects, tweeting: “All of our thoughts are with Jose’s friends and family, and everyone at Arsenal at this very difficult time.”
We are all deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Jose Antonio Reyes. All of our thoughts are with Jose's friends and family, and everyone at Arsenal at this very difficult time. https://t.co/C554XXrz8Q— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) June 1, 2019
Arsenal fans the world over mourned the news of Reyes’ passing, with @gunnerblog leading the fan reaction online.
“This is such desperately sad news,” he wrote.
This is such desperately sad news. https://t.co/tWPgw0nE9p— gunnerblog (@gunnerblog) June 1, 2019
Reyes left Arsenal to join Real Madrid on loan in La Liga before winning five Europa League titles with Atletico Madrid and Sevilla.