Juan Carlos Garcia: Former Wigan and Honduras defender dies of leukaemia at 29

Juan Carlos Garcia made one appearance for Honduras at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Juan Carlos Garcia made one appearance for Honduras at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Former Wigan Athletic and Honduras full-back Juan Carlos Garcia has died of leukaemia at the age of 29.

Garcia joined the Latics on a free transfer in July 2013 and made one appearance in a 5-0 defeat by Manchester City in the EFL Cup.

He joined Spanish side Tenerife on loan in the summer of 2014 but returned after being diagnosed in February 2015.

"This is tragic news and we send our deepest condolences to his family and friends," chairman David Sharpe said.

"We have offered what support we can but, despite the best possible treatment at Christie's Hospital, Juan Carlos has tragically not been able to beat this terrible illness.

"At just 29 years old, he was far too young to be taken and our thoughts are with his family at this sad time."

Garcia was granted permission to remain in the UK to continue treatment after his contract with Wigan ended in 2016.

The defender, who played for Honduras at the 2014 World Cup, moved back to his home country towards the end of last year.

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Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Prefessional Footballers' Union, said Garcia would be "sadly missed" by all he knew him.

"Having got to know Juan Carlos well since his diagnosis and helped him and his family during his treatment, his love for life and human qualities shone through," he posted on the PFA's Twitter page.

Wigan Athletic midfielder Sam Morsy tweeted his condolences
Wigan Athletic midfielder Sam Morsy tweeted his condolences

Garcia's former Wigan teammate Chris McCann, now playing in the USA, described him as a "very humble, down to earth person".

He added: "Thoughts with his family and friends at this tragic time."

Max Power offered his good wishes to Garcia's family
Another Wigan player, Max Power, offered his good wishes to Garcia's family

Wigan will hold a minute's silence in Garcia's memory before kick-off against Peterborough United at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

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