West Brom pay tribute as an ex-player of theirs suddenly dies aged 38, causing widespread shock with those that knew him.
The Baggies confirmed the sad news about ex-central defender Williams Martinez via their social media accounts, with his death said to be by suicide.
Martinez played for the West Midlands outfit on loan back in 2006, scoring one Premier League goal during a 2-2 draw with Everton.
We’re deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our former player, Williams Martínez.
Our thoughts are with his friends and family. Rest in peace 💙 pic.twitter.com/zWXK2pLfho
— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) July 18, 2021
The defender had been inactive for some time after being diagnosed with Covid on the 23rd of June and had played as a starter three of the seven commitments played by his team this season, according to records from the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF).
His death came on the same day that Uruguay commemorates the National Day for the Prevention of Suicide, a problem that has been generating concern in the South American nation.
According to the most recent data presented by the national government this Friday, in 2020 there were 718 suicides and a rate of 20.3 per 100,000 inhabitants.
West Brom posted on their official Twitter page: “We’re deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our former player, Williams Martínez.
“Our thoughts are with his friends and family. Rest in peace.”
He enjoyed a long and varied career, playing for 15 different clubs across 20 years and had been playing for Uruguay Segunda Division team Villa Teresa at the time of his passing.
Matches in his native Uruguay were suspended following the news, and the Uruguayan FA posted a message of support on their online accounts.
“We regret with deep pain and shock the death of the Uruguayan player Williams Martínez. Our condolences to your family and friends.”
Villa Teresa posted: “Club Atlético Villa Teresa deeply regrets the passing of our main squad player Williams Martinez, his family, friends and relatives our deepest condolences.”
Martinez’s former teammate at The Hawthorns, Jonathan Greening, replied to West Brom’s post in a state of shock, “No f****** way”.
Martinez made one appearance for the national team back in 2003 and compatriot Luis Suarez posted his own tribute on social media, reading: “What sad news the loss of Williams Martínez. Much strength for your friends and family. RIP Williams ”.
He started his career with Defensor Sporting, going on to be made captain, then went on to join West Brom and then Valenciennes in France.
After enduring a loan spell with Reims, he returned to Defensor, before spells in Argentina with Chacarita Juniors and in Chile with Huachipato and Palestino.
The defender then moved to Cerro Porteno in Paraguay, before returning to Uruguay with River Plate Monitevideo.
From 2015, he has played with Cerro, Deportivo Tachira and Ceuta, as well as more spells at River Plate and Rampla.
He joined Villa Teresa earlier this year, but had been out of the squad in recent weeks.
West Brom pay tribute as ex-player suddenly dies aged 38, Twitter users gave their reaction…
My thoughts are with Williams Martínez family and friends. 💙🤍🙏
— Nigel Quashie (@NigelQuashie1) July 19, 2021
The Clubs first South American to play for the Albion . 🤔. Taken far too early . Rest easy Williams. Ps:23.
— Dean Bamford (@DeanBamford5) July 18, 2021
No fucking way 😢😢😢😢
— JonoGreening29 (@JonoGreening8) July 18, 2021
Such sad news. A really nice guy, I remember trying to speak to him in my broken GCSE Spanish during his his time at the club.
Didn’t work out for him at the club but he’ll be remembered by me for the last game of the 05/06 season scoring at Goodson Park.
Rest easy Willy 💙🙌🏽 https://t.co/pW7nMoPZMr
— ℂ𝕦𝕣𝕥𝕚𝕤 𝔻𝕒𝕧𝕚𝕖𝕤 #33 (@TheCurtisDavies) July 18, 2021
@RoyallyLad: Suicide as well. Such a shame that some players are too scared to open up and speak about how they really feel 😞😞
@RobRawson1: 🎵 Ooh Williams martinez he’s from Uruguay he made them scoucers cry he made them scoucers cry 🎵 What a game everton away on his debut and scored RIP 🙏
@Brookesie1983: Christ almighty! Everton away that was some goal! RIP Williams – thanks for that memory.
@ScottDa45014898: Really sad news, I was at Everton that day he scored his goal also his last game for us i think.
@HolWBA: RIP, saw him score at Goodison. How tragic 😢
@arries_nathan: RIP. Remember his song at everton away!
@bankofdad61: Will always remember Everton away, singing his name.
@sarah_WBAx: You just never know how someone is truly feeling, always check in on your loved ones – rest in peace 😢❤
@superbobgod: R.I.P Williams! Such a shame and it was his birthday today as well so maybe that had something to do with his awful decision 😪
@stuwolwalton: RIP so sad..
@Jak_Collier: RIP Williams, just awful news. 💙
@SJB74: Really sad news RIP Williams Martinez
@SHERRIFF_LUFC: So sorry to hear about this, extremely sad
@JxckkTB: Horrible, ask your mates if they’re okay
@bagster1971: Truly awful news, so vet sad. RIP Williams 💙🤍😥
@albion_gaming: Rest In Peace
@MIBSKIN93: Such sad news.
@TheHattonScarf: Always keep talking. Rest easy big fella.
@WBAvlogs: Such sad news, rumours going round it was suicide. Please check up on your mates/family to see if they’re ok. Mental health is so so important.
@Tgarratt10: Will always remember him for Everton away. Rest easy big fella ❤️
@b68baggie: Rip brother #albionfamily
@monkeynuts65: RIP Williams
@Daws_WBA: Took his own life man, sad times
@SpursNewsArabic: 💙 The whole SNA team sends our condolences to Williams and he’s family in this truly tough time.
@WbaFormer: Such sad news and so young. Our deepest sympathy goes to his family and friends. RIP William.
@JackRubes93: Martinez, woah, Martinez, woah, he came from Uruguay, he made the scousers cry!
@KeithSu51736990: RIP Williams
@TThrostle: Awful news, rest in peace.
@firatharrods: Rip fella 🙌🏽
@yeskylejones: So sad. Rip. Williams.
@robsmart99: RIP Williams gone way too young!