'Tried to revive him': Football rocked by tragic death of World Cup hero

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor
Walter Martinez in 2010. (Image: DIETER NAGL/AFP/Getty Images)

The football world is mourning the sudden death of Walter Martinez - the Honduran midfielder who played at the 2010 World Cup.

Martinez’s former club Beijing Guoan said he died of a heart attack in New York on Monday.

He was just 37.

Martinez played a starring role as Honduras qualified for the World Cup in 2010 - just the second time in their history.

He scored 12 goals in 49 games at international level.

Martinez also played in America for the San Jose Earthquakes, as well as Spanish club Alaves, before he retired in 2016.

"With sadness that overwhelms the family of Honduran football, we regret the death of Walter Julian Martinez,” the Honduran wrote on social media.

"Solidarity and a balm of divine peace for your family and friends. RIP.”

Fans of Beijing Guoan flocked to their home stadium to lay wreathes and tributes to the late star.

Martinez’s friend ‘tried to revive him’

Martinez’s friend and fellow footballer Jose Chepo Fernandez told a Honduran newspaper how the pair had gone for a night out before Martinez died at his apartment.

"I was inside my room and when I left I found him on the floor. I tried to revive him but I couldn't,” Fernandez said.

"Immediately I called the ambulance and minutes later they were there but nothing could be done."

Fans have been flooding social media with tributes.