A former soccer star considered one of Mexico’s best ever players died in Mexico City Tuesday after being hospitalized for a pulmonary embolism.
Tomás Boy, a midfielder who represented Mexico on more than 50 occasions and captained his country to the quarter finals at the 1986 World Cup, fell ill while in Acapulco, Guerrero, and was transported to the capital for medical treatment.
The acclaimed futbolista, described as a “legend of soccer in Mexico” in a tribute posted to the Liga MX Twitter account, also coached more than 10 professional Mexican teams as well as the California-based San José Earthquakes.
The national team acknowledged the 70-year-old’s passing in a message on its official Twitter account.
“We will always remember you as the great jefe [boss] you were in Mexican football,” the message said, referring to Boy by his nickname. “Rest in peace, Tomás Boy.”
A video tribute to Tomás Boy by his longtime club the Tigers.
𝑯𝒂𝒔𝒕𝒂 𝒔𝒊𝒆𝒎𝒑𝒓𝒆, 𝑳𝒆𝒚𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒂. pic.twitter.com/5yWGr80beE
— Club Tigres Oficial 🐯 (@TigresOficial) March 9, 2022
Born in Mexico City in June 1951, Boy was the oldest of eight siblings and a sports lover from a young age.
He started his professional career for Mexico City-based club Atlético Español in the early 1970s but will be best remembered for his more than 400 appearances for the Nuevo León Autonomous University Tigres, or Tigers, with whom he won two league titles and the Copa México.
Boy scored over 100 goals for the club before leaving in 1988 to take up his first coaching position with the Earthquakes.
Among the Mexican league clubs he coached were Querétaro, Monterrey, Atlas and Mazatlán, which he led during the 2020-21 season.
Despite managing clubs for over 30 years, he never won a title as a coach, but will be remembered for his exuberant celebrations when one of his players managed to get a shot past the opposition’s goalkeeper.
Boy is survived by his wife and children, who were at his side in his final hours. “Today a jefe arrives to heaven and from here we send a hug to him and his family,” his beloved, long-term club, the Tigres, said on Twitter.