Spanish great Zarra dead

Madrid, February 24:

Telmo Zarraonandia, a storied Spain and Athletic Bilbao goalscorer of the 1940s and 1950s known simply as Zarra, has died. He was 85.

Zarra scored 38 goals in the 1950-51 season to set a Spanish league record which was only equalled by Real Madrid’s Hugo Sanchez 39 years later. Zarra was the league’s top scorer for five other seasons between 1944 and 1953.

Angel Maria Villar, president of the Spanish soccer federation, said Zarra’s death signified “an irreparable loss”. Legendary Real Madrid striker Alfredo Di Stefano said he had been “turned to stone” on learning of Zarra’s death.

“Every soccer fan will remember him. I really feel his loss just as the rest of the former players who make up this association,” Di Stefano said. Bilbao together with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid expressed their condolences on their Web sites.