The world of football is in mourning after news broke that the true legend of the game, the great Pele, has sadly passed away at the age of 82, following his brave battle with colon cancer. It had been reported some time ago that his chemotherapy treatment was no longer working and indeed on more than one occasion false reports had emerged that he had lost his battle, but sadly that is now the case and the man who coined the phrase “the beautiful game” has left “the field of play” for the final time.
Reports in the last day or so indicated that the great man was struggling to eat and medics had mentioned complications brought on by severe liver disease. His daughter Kely Nascimento had posted a touching photograph on Christmas Eve of the two of them and his granddaughter Sophia, together at his hospital bed as he continued to fight.
One of the final posts he placed on social media was unsurprisingly about his beloved game when he wrote about how much he was enjoying watching the World Cup in Qatar, saying: “I love fútbol so deeply and I also love it for how it helps and empowers children through fun, teamwork, and creativity.”
The post continued: “That is the reason why I started Pelé Foundation and why I am delighted to announce that we are establishing our first ever Three Hearts Awards, which will recognise a player, non profit organisation and an inspiration annually, who has had a significant contribution, commitment to philanthropy, and community impact that aids and empowers children through educational, anti-poverty or health efforts.”
A typical gesture of a wonderful man who is widely regarded as the finest player to have ever played the “beautiful game”.
More to follow…