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Top polo player dies after 5 year battle with terminal illness

Argentine polo player Javier Novillo Astrada (pictured white shirt) has died after a long battle with a terminal illness. He was 37.

The father of 4 was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2009, but made a remarkable recovery to compete in the 2012 Argentinian Triple Crown. Javier was forced to stop playing polo last year and passed away in Buenos Aires last week (Friday 23 May).

Javier, who is 1 of 5 brothers who play polo, had won every major tournament across the world.

In 2008 and he was named coach of the England polo team who went on to win the Coronation Cup and the Westchester Cup under his guidance.

A spokesman from the Argentine Polo Association said that Javier had left an “indelible mark” on the sport and all who had known him.

Javier is the 2nd high-profile loss to the polo community this year. Carlos Gracida died from serious head injuries sustained in freak accident during a match in Florida in February.

Players took to social media to pay their respects to Javier.

Another polo legend leaves us. Rest in Peace” tweeted former England U21 captain Richard Le Poer.

“Very sad news about Javier,” polo commentator Peter West added. “A great player and England coach”.

Javier leaves behind his wife Delfina, and 4 children — Manuel, Simon, Nina and Clara.

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