Former Arsenal winger Jose Antonio Reyes dies aged 35
PUBLISHED: 13:12 01 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:32 01 June 2019
PA Wire/PA Images
Former Arsenal winger Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a car crash, aged 35.
The tragic news was confirmed by Sevilla - the club where Reyes started his career - who tweeted: "We couldn't be confirming worse news. Beloved Sevilla star José Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision. Rest in peace."
The Spaniard moved to Highbury in January 2004, and was part of the 'Invincibles' side that went through the 2003/04 season unbeaten, winning the Premier League.
He joined Real Madrid on loan in 2007 and won the La Liga title, before going on to play for Atletico Madrid, Benfica, Sevilla for a second time, Espanyol, Córdoba, Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard and Extremadura.
He also won the Europa League five times, picking up two titles with Atletico and three with his boyhood club Sevilla.
Arsenal paid tribute to their former player, saying in an official club statement: "Everyone at Arsenal is devastated by the shocking news that our former player Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision in Spain.
"Our thoughts are with all his family, friends and team-mates.
"Jose, who was part of the Invincibles team, was a hugely popular figure at our club and will always hold a special place in our hearts.
"He represented the club on 110 occasions, scoring 23 times and made memorable contributions to our 49-game unbeaten run.
"Rest in peace, Jose."
Former team-mate Thierry Henry tweeted: "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."
Current Arsenal boss Unai Emery coached Reyes during his second spell at Sevilla. He tweeted in Spanish, saying: "Deeply sad and speechless after knowing this tragic news.
"I'll never forget your magic and your smile, Jose, never. It was an honor to be by your side.
"A strong hug and all the spirit of the world to family, friends and clubs to which he represented. RIP friend."
His current club Extremadura said in a statement on Twitter: "With a broken heart Extremadura UD announce the death of their player Jose Antonio Reyes in a traffic accident."
Reyes' final match was a 1-0 win at Alcorcon on May 18. The Spanish second division side are scheduled to face Cadiz away from home on Sunday.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.