THE GREATEST SOCCER PLAYER OF ALL TIME, PELE, DIES AT 82: Legendary Brazilian footballer passes away after battle with colon cancer which left him hospitalised for a month to leave the beautiful game – a phrase he coined
- Pele has died aged 82 following a period in hospital, having had a tumour removed from his colon last year
- The Brazilian is widely regarded as the greatest footballer ever to have lived, following an incredible career
- Pele is the only player ever to have won the World Cup three times, including at the age of just 17
- He posted on social media on his his 82nd birthday on October 23, when he said he was ‘in good health’
- Pele was one of the most influential people of the 20th Century, and one of the first black global sports icons
Pele, the Brazilian who has long been considered the greatest footballer of all time, has died at the age of 82.
The legendary figure, a man who transcended his sport and was a global icon, learned that his colon cancer had advanced on December 21 and was told he would be kept in hospital over Christmas – with the iconic forward needing treatment for cardiac and renal dysfunction.
Previously he had been admitted to the hospital on November 30 with swelling all over his body and ‘decompensated heart failure’ before passing away a month on after receiving palliative care.
Pele’s daughter Kely Nascimento wrote on Instagram: ‘We are thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace.’
Nascimento, who had posted before Christmas that members of Pele’s family would spend the holiday period in the hospital with him, added three heartbroken emojis.
Son Edson Nascimento, who followed in his father’s footsteps with a career in football, posted a photo of Pele from behind running onto a football field, with the message: ‘Go with God, my father’.
Grandson Arthur Spies wrote that it was ‘the most painful day of life’, adding: ‘But now all that’s left are the good moment, what Pele did for Brazil and for the world, the people that he helped and the victories he had in his career and life.
‘Grandpa Dico you are my idol and always will be, no matter where you are, on Earth or in heaven… I know that wherever you are you will always be supporting and blessing me in everything in my life and will always be together with me.
‘I have a clear conscience that you will go to heaven with an image of me as a grandson who was very present and who always loved you very muh and that I always wanted to be together with you.
‘I love you very much regardless of where you are, I will always take you with me in my life, in good times and bad times, because I know that if you were here you would support me, I love you grandpa.’
The Brazilian Football Federation posted a picture of Pele celebrating a goal, saying ‘RIP Pele’ and adding three crown emojis.
Sir Geoff Hurst, the former England striker, also paid tribute, tweeting: ‘I have so many memories of Pele, without doubt the best footballer I ever played against (with Bobby Moore being the best footballer I ever played alongside).
‘For me Pele remains the greatest of all time and I was proud to be on the pitch with him. RIP Pele and thank you.’
No details have been made public yet about the funeral, but a vigil will be held at Vila Belmiro in Santos, the city where the great will be buried.
Source: Daily Mail Online, Chris Cutmore
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