Hugo Sánchez Portugal, son of soccer great Hugo Sánchez Márquez, lost his life in what appears to have been a gas leak in his Mexico City apartment. Although the cause of death has not been confirmed, a spokesman for the Red Cross said that it was apparently gas intoxication. His body, along with that of an unidentified, 35-year-old male friend, was discovered when his girlfriend came to visit him. No details about the circumstances of his death have been released other than there did not seem to be any signs of a struggle. He was found on the living room floor, and his friend was discovered in the bathroom. Sánchez Jr. was 30 at the time of his passing.
He was working currently promoting youth sports programs in the Miguel Hidalgo district as the director of Cultura Fisica. He had translated his time as a star player for the Potros de Atlante and Pumas UNAM clubs into a career broadcasting as a sports commentator for Televisa before taking up his position there. He was beloved at his club and with the public, and there has been a massive response both from the sporting and entertainment worlds. Twitter has seen posts of support from Luis Garcia, Miguel Layún, and many others. Sánchez Jr. himself had only hours before his death sent a tweet wishing his followers a happy weekend.
His father, Hugo Sánchez Márquez, over the course of his career has earned the respect and love of supporters all over the world, both from his time playing for Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid and during his appearances in three World Cups. He is a legend in the world of soccer and has received enormous support. During his career He flew immediately from is home in San Diego, California to Mexico City in the wake of the tragedy. His movements have been tracked and reported in the media, owing to his massive popularity, but thus far showing respect for his privacy.
Hugo Sánchez Portugal has made a reputation and had an impact apart from just the legacy of his father. He earned his own fans, and built his own legacy in work for the community, particularly his work with youth programs in his position for the district. His loss is one that is just beginning to be felt, not just locally in Mexico, but to the entire international scope of his reach. As messages of support and love continue to come out across social media and by other means, the fullness of that scope is only just beginning to be seen. In the days ahead, it seems likely that the response will only blossom more and more.
The soccer world and beyond is in mourning with the loss of Hugo Sánchez Portugal. The full details of the accident have not yet been revealed, but for many they may not matter. The days ahead will be spent mourning the loss of a legend and at the same time celebrating his life, and his legacy.
By Jim Malone