SHIZUOKA – Masanori Sanada, a former goalkeeper who played for Shimizu S-Pulse and took a coaching job with the top division team this season, died of heart failure on Tuesday, the J. League club said Wednesday. He was 43.
Sanada began playing with Shimizu in 1992, a year before the start of the J. League, and helped his club to win the second stage of the league in 1999.
He appeared in 243 league matches before retiring in 2004. Sanada returned to S-Pulse this season as a coach but had taken time off since last Friday, complaining of ill health.
Shimizu players and staff will don black armbands in their match against Jubilo Iwata on Saturday and will set up a special stand in Sanada’s honor for the Nabisco Cup at home against Albirex Niigata and Urawa Reds on Sept. 14 and 17, respectively.