The football world is mourning the sudden death of Walter Martinez - the Honduran midfielder who played at the 2010 World Cup.
Martinez’s former club Beijing Guoan said he died of a heart attack in New York on Monday.
He was just 37.
Martinez played a starring role as Honduras qualified for the World Cup in 2010 - just the second time in their history.
Honduras is in mourning for one of the country's 2010 #WorldCup heroes.— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) August 13, 2019
Walter Martinez, who helped @FenafuthOrg qualify for the global finals for just the second time, has died at the age of just 37. #RIP pic.twitter.com/7NJljo20eM
He scored 12 goals in 49 games at international level.
Martinez also played in America for the San Jose Earthquakes, as well as Spanish club Alaves, before he retired in 2016.
"With sadness that overwhelms the family of Honduran football, we regret the death of Walter Julian Martinez,” the Honduran wrote on social media.
"Solidarity and a balm of divine peace for your family and friends. RIP.”
You will never be forgotten.— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) August 12, 2019
Rest in Peace, Walter Martinez. pic.twitter.com/QkEHXpAb45
Fans of Beijing Guoan flocked to their home stadium to lay wreathes and tributes to the late star.
Tributes flowing for former Beijing Guoan winger Walter Martinez outside the Gonti Stadium tonight. The player died in NYC on Aug 11 #waltermartinez #beijingguoan #北京国安 @thebeijinger pic.twitter.com/DYpqA39ER7— Anna Hartley (@its_annahartley) August 13, 2019
Martinez’s friend ‘tried to revive him’
Martinez’s friend and fellow footballer Jose Chepo Fernandez told a Honduran newspaper how the pair had gone for a night out before Martinez died at his apartment.
"I was inside my room and when I left I found him on the floor. I tried to revive him but I couldn't,” Fernandez said.
"Immediately I called the ambulance and minutes later they were there but nothing could be done."
Fans have been flooding social media with tributes.
A great player helped Honduras rise in the region and bring joy to that nation. RIP https://t.co/VhPgDTGQ64— David Gass (@empiregass) August 13, 2019
After the death of Walter Martinez was identified, fans went to Worker's Stadium spontaneously to pay tribute to the Honduran winger, who played for Beijing Guoan between 2007 and 2011. Flowers, scarves, cards and his No. 15 shirt in Guoan were left outside the stadium. pic.twitter.com/WbQ9g5ykQG— Titan Sports Plus (@titan_plus) August 12, 2019