Sunday 01 October 2023
Select a region

Vigil for football star to take place at teenage club

Vigil for football star to take place at teenage club

Friday 15 February 2019

Vigil for football star to take place at teenage club

Friday 15 February 2019

Football star Emiliano Sala’s body is due to be flown back to his native Argentina today, for a special vigil at his childhood football club.

The striker, who was soon to begin a career with Premier League club Cardiff FC, died when his plane crashed near Alderney while flying over the Channel with pilot David Ibbotson.

His body was recovered from the wreckage on 6 February, and formally identified by Dorset Police later that week.


Pictured: The wreck of the plane underwater, north west of Alderney.

An inquest, which has now been adjourned pending the results of the Air Accident Information Branch's full report due to be published in six months’ time, said he died from “head and trunk injuries”.

Mr Ibbotson, who is missing-presumed dead, has not been found. His family have since been raising money to resurrect search efforts and “bring him home” to be laid to rest.

That campaign has so far raised more than £238,000, having been boosted by a significant donation by French World Cup scorer Kylian Mbappé, who gave £27,000, along with donations of £1,000 each from Napoli footballer Kalibou Koulibali and pundit Gary Lineker.


Pictured: Stars from the footballing community donated to the cause. The two footballers - Mbappé and Koulibali - used pseudonyms.

Mr Ibbotson’s daughter Danielle, who started the GoFundMe page, has also said her family have been speaking with the ‘shipwreck hunter’ enlisted by Sala’s family who successfully found the wreck.

“We have been in talks the past couple of days with David Mearns over emails and a phone call. We are looking into the best way forward and options we have going forward. Once we have 100% confirmed the plan forward we will full update everyone. Thank you so much for your support. We can not thank you enough. The Ibbotson Family x,” she wrote.

Meanwhile, preparations have been made for a vigil in Sala’s native Argentina, which is due to be held today.

His family arrived back in Progreso, his hometown, this week. The town’s mayor, Julio Muller, explained that Sala’s body would follow, expected to arrive at 09:00 on Friday at Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires.

From there, the plan is to take Sala on a six-hour journey to the club he played for in his youth, San Martín de Progreso.

President of the club, where Sala played until the age of 15, Daniel Ribero, commented: “Emi’s body is going to reach Argentina from Europe on Friday and on Saturday we will spend several hours saying farewell to him at the club.”

He also said that the club were working on a tribute that would carry the footballer's name, but that no decisions had been made at this stage. It's been reported that could see the club rename its stadium after Sala. 

An interim report by the AAIB is expected in the coming weeks, which should shed more light on the circumstances of Mr Sala and Mr Ibbotson’s disappearance and eventual crash as they flew from the Argentine striker’s former club Nantes FC to Cardiff, where he had just signed a record-breaking transfer deal.

Sign up to newsletter


What next?


Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.

There are no comments for this article.

To place a comment please login

You have landed on the Bailiwick Express website, however it appears you are based in . Would you like to stay on the site, or visit the site?