Former Philippines national football team member and Kaya FC founder Rudy del Rosario has passed away on Friday morning.
He was 51.
Del Rosario was part of the men's national team that competed in the 16th Southeast Asian Games in 1991 where the hosts finished fourth.
He became team captain from 1994 to 1997, and represented the Philippines in the AFF Futsal Championship 2001.
“Philippine football lost one of its legends in Rudy Del Rosario who not only made an impact with his play on the pitch but with his tremendous passion for the game that reflected in his work even after his playing career,” Philippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta, Jr., who played with Del Rosario, said in a statement on the federation's website.
“Rudy was a skillful and creative player who would always provide a positive energy to the teams he played for. He played with tenacity and grit, using football – and music – to express himself.
“He loved the game so much I knew he would always be involved in the sport after his playing career.”
De Rosario founded Kaya with his friends in 1996, where he became a player and coach.
Kaya mourned its founder’s passing.
"We are deeply saddened by the news of Rudy Del Rosario's passing. Not only was he one of the founders & pillars of Kaya FC, he was a staunch advocate for football across the nation. Our deepest condolences to his family, friends, & those fortunate to call him a teammate or coach," the team said through its social media account.
The Philippines Football League also extended its condolences.
"Philippine football is in mourning. Rudy Del Rosario is one of the legends of the game in the country. A former national team player in football and futsal, Rudy made an even bigger impact in his coaching career that included a stint with Kaya FC, a club which he also founded with friends and teammates. Rest in Peace coach Rudy," the league said in a statement.