Government pays tribute to Brazilian football icon Pelé
Owen Darrell, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, has joined with many millions in extending condolences on behalf of the Bermuda Government following the passing of Brazilian legend Pelé.
Thousands of mourners lined the streets in Brazil yesterday to pay their respects as Pelé, who died last week age 82, was laid to rest in Santos, the city of his former club.
Covered with the national flag, Pele's coffin was carried on a fire truck through packed roads lined with fans. The funeral cortège ended at the port city's Memorial Cemetery, where he will be interred in a ten-storey mausoleum.
Santos FC said more than 230,000 people had attended his 24-hour wake in the Urbano Caldeira stadium, where he had been lying in state in the centre of the pitch.
On island, the Bermuda Football Association marked Pelé’s death, with a minute’s applause taking place before the Shield and Friendship Trophy finals at Somerset Cricket Club on Sunday.
“Pelé was a legend. He was one of the best footballers in the world, idolised by so many,” said Darrell.
“Although his accomplished career was before my time, I, like any football player or fan, knew about the legendary ‘king of football’ and he was an icon I admired. We consider him a friend to Bermuda and mourn his death with the rest of the world.
“Along with being one of the greatest football players of all time, Pelé was an outstanding humanitarian who raised Brazil's visibility on the international stage. On behalf of the Government of Bermuda, I extend condolences to his family and the people of Brazil.”
Arguably the world's greatest ever footballer, Pele scored an incredible 1,283 goals in his illustrious career as well as making 92 appearances for the national side, scoring 77 goals. He is the only player to have won the World Cup on three separate occasions in 1958, 1962 and 1970.