Soccer

Jose Luis 'Tata' Brown, 1986 World Cup hero, dies at 62

Reuters, AFP-JIJI

World Cup winner Jose Luis Brown, who scored Argentina’s opening goal in the 1986 World Cup final against West Germany, has died at the age of 62, local media reported on Monday.

The country’s football association confirmed the former central defender’s death in a tweet, while former Argentina striker Gabriel Batistuta also tweeted his condolences.

Brown, affectionately referred to by his nickname ‘Tata,” spent most of his playing career at Estudiantes, making close to 300 league appearances for the club.

“Maximum day of sadness for the Albirroja (La Plata) family, our gladiator Jose Luis Brown has left. But his memory and love of the club will never depart,” the club tweeted.At the end of the 1985-86 season, he was released by Deportivo Espanol because of a serious knee injury but was still called up for the World Cup in Mexico as cover for first-choice sweeper Daniel Passarella.

After Passarella was ruled out of the tournament due to illness, Brown was drafted into the starting lineup in a team led by Diego Maradona.

Brown, who won 36 caps for his country, scored the only international goal of his career in the final, heading home a 23rd minute free kick as Argentina won 3-2.

Later in the game, with Argentina leading by a single goal, he dislocated his shoulder in a collision with Norbert Eder but refused to leave the pitch, playing through the pain as Argentina won the World Cup for the second time.

“Without Jose Luis Brown, we would never have won the World Cup in 1986. Tou never complained about a thing, Tata” Argentina legend Diego Maradona said on Instagram.

After a playing career that included stints in Spain and France, Brown was coach, along with Sergio Batista, of the national Under-23 squad that won the the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and fielded Lionel Messi, Juan Roan Riquelme and Sergio Aguero.

GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5