Luis Eduardo Mendez, a former player of the Belize National Team, passed away Tuesday evening and leaves behind a nation of grieving fans, family and friends-including his Facebook friends, who flooded his wall as they paid their respect to the deceased. The 20 year old was in the country of Guatemala, it is believed that he went to see his girlfriend who is studying there, when the bus he was travelling in, which was headed to Quetzaltenango, flipped over. According to a news article in Guatemala, 14 other people were injured in the car accident of which eight were taken to the hospital. Only Luis Mendez lost his life. The Football Federation of Belize and its football family issued a Press Release Wednesday afternoon expressing their grief and condolences, saying in short “The Football Federation of Belize and its football family are saddened by the sudden news of the passing of Mr. Luis Mendez.” We talked to one of his teammates who has known him for 12 years .
Devon Makin – Friend of Deceased:
He was one of my team-mates from Under 19. We qualified together. We were the first U20 team to qualify to the next round of the World Cup Qualifiers, by pulling off a draw against Guatemala. He was a major part of that. [He was a] close friend.
Right now we’re getting the support from the coaches, Mr Kent. Everybody supports the other players, because it’s a big loss to us. We just have to be strong men. He’ll always be remembered. He was like a brother to all of us.
This was the first time that Mendez did not go to play with the team internationally, however, we was still chasing his football passion by playing locally as he participated in the Premiere League of Belize with the BDF team. We spoke to one of his former coaches Kent Gabriel who remembers as a dedicated and easy going person
Kent Gabriel – Coach:
Mr Mendez was in U20, U21, and also on the last World Cup A Team. He’s a very quiet person, hard working person. He’s has a lot of respect, a lot of discipline. You can depend on him. He would always call me or text me and say “Coach, when’s the workout?” or “When the team starts to workout, just give me a call.” He was a dedicated person. He’s well liked by everybody around the federation. It was a sad thing for us to hear last night that he died, to show that you’re here today and tomorrow you’re gone, and life can change in such a minute. We all try to live good with each other, have respect for one another. We will miss him in the football world. My sympathy goes out to the family, to the Mendez family in Benque, and to all his friends.
Mendez was a part of the national selection that took part in the Copa Centro Americana games earlier this year. He also served as captain of the U20 national team which participated in the Olympic Central American Qualifier in San Jose Costa Rica and has brought home a few international goals. His name will be remembered as someone who greatly contributed to the exposure that the Belize National team has.