Hundreds of fans lined up Monday to bid farewell to Ecuadorean soccer great Alberto Spencer, who died last week in the United States after undergoing heart surgery.
Considered Ecuador's greatest soccer player, Spencer was brought home for a nine-hour stop in the Voltaire Paladines Polo coliseum in the coastal city of Guayaquil for an open-casket ceremony.
"Thank you to all Ecuadoreans. We have not come to seek tribute, but rather my father and we come to honor you for all you did so that he could transcend and touch heaven with his hands," Walter Spencer, one of his three children, told Channel 2 television.
Spencer's body was then put on a plane bound for Uruguay, where he had spent most of his career, leading Penarol to eight national titles and three South American championships during its golden era in the 1960s.
During 12 years with the team, he scored 326 goals, including 48 in the Copa Libertadores. He scored six more goals for Ecuador's Barcelona squad in South America's club championship, setting a tournament record of 54 goals that stands today, reports AP.
The 67-year-old Spencer, who had suffered from heart disease since the late 1970s, underwent quadruple bypass surgery Oct. 10 at the Cleveland Clinic.
Dozens of fans wearing Barcelona jerseys accompanied his coffin from the coliseum to the Guayaquil Air Base, where a small group of friends and family boarded the plane to take his body to Montevideo.
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