Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Former Birmingham striker dies

30 July 2013, 09:49

London - Ecuador striker Christian Benitez has died suddenly in Qatar at the age of 27, his agent Jose Chamorro said Monday.

Speaking to Ecuadorian Gama TV, Chamorro claimed Benitez, known as "Chucho", had suffered a heart-attack.

He had complained of abdominal pains and was transferred to a hospital, where he died on Monday, Chamorro said.

Benitez, who was top scorer in the Mexican league last season with Club America, had just signed for Qatari outfit El-Jaish and had travelled to the club to undergo a medical before completing his move.

El-Jaish said in a statement that Benitez played on Sunday with the team in a match against Qatar Sports Club in the Sheikh Jassem Cup "without complaining of any health problems."

"His sudden departure is a big shock for each member of the technical and administrative staff. He was a player that over the short period he was here was regarded for his high moral character," it said.

The club did not give a cause for the death.

Ecuador's interior minister Jose Serrano took to Twitter to pay tribute to the player, who also turned out for English side Birmingham City for one season.

"Dear Chucho thank you for your goals and your happiness," said the minister.

"A hug to your family and especially to your father."

Benitez was considered a key part of Colombian coach Reinaldo Rueda's Ecuador team that is hoping to qualify for next year's World Cup in Brazil, sitting third in the South American qualifying group.

His former team-mate at Birmingham City, former Republic of Ireland midfielder Lee Carsley told BBC Sport: "I remember he had outstanding ability, was very quick and was a bit of a free spirit. "He had a big personality and he burst on to the scene when he came on at Old Trafford and caused lots of problems. His ability and goalscoring ability was there to see," he said.

Sunderland's Craig Gardner, also a former team-mate, paid tribute to Benitez on Twitter.

"Can't believe Christian Benitez aka chucho has died," he wrote.

"Had the pleasure to play with him he was a top bloke. My thoughts go out to his family," he added.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
William Korir
ODM kicks 6 MPs out of Parliament...

ODM has kicked 6 rebel members out of house committees. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Karua now headed to Jubilee?

Is Martha Karua now headed to the Jubilee Coalition? Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Kenneth defends move to support U...

Peter Kenneth says that moving to support President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Jubilee Party is his democratic choice. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
How to keep her interested

It is not only men who lose interest in relationships. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
What to do after breakup

Your life does not end after breakup. Here are tips to move on: Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Rare gift for President Uhuru Ken...

Young Jubilee supporters have a rare surprise gift for the President. Read more...