Abdón Porte

Abdón Porte (1893 – 5 March 1918) was a Uruguayan footballer who played as defensive midfielder.[1] Nicknamed El Indio he won many titles with his club Nacional, and also a Copa América with the Uruguay national team. He committed suicide on 5 March 1918, by shooting himself in the center of the field at Estadio Gran Parque Central, an incident still remembered by the sport community of Uruguay.[2]

Abdón Porte
Abdon Porte portrait.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth 1893 (1893)
Place of birth Libertad, Durazno Department, Uruguay
Date of death 5 March 1918(1918-03-05) (aged 24–25)
Place of death Montevideo, Uruguay
Position(s) Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1910 Colón
1911 Libertad
1911–1918 Nacional 207
National team
1913–1917 Uruguay 3 (1)
Honours
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Club careerEdit

 
Porte with the Nacional jersey

Porte arrived in Montevideo in 1908, where he played for Colón, then moving to defunct club Libertad. He was later transferred to Nacional, debuting on 12 March 1911,[3] v. Dublin F.C. Porte played as a right back.

Playing for Nacional, Porte gained notability being also team's captain. He was defined as a fierce midfielder and good at stopping rival players and heading the ball. He played a total of 207 games for Nacional, winning 19 titles with the club.[4]

Porte was cited by writer Xosé de Enríquez in his book Hacia el Campo van los Albos:[5]

(Porte) was a typical defensive man of combative style: tenacious, centre-back of a brilliant period of Uruguayan football. Abdón Porte was notable, with well-known defensive and collaborative extraordinary virtues that will be remembered for a long time by older fans. He was a good guy, "friend of his friends"; gauchazo for doing good. Calm on the field although rivals kick him until he breaks.

— Luis Scapinachis [6][7]

Porte would play his last match v. Charley F.C. (Nacional won by 3-1) before committing suicide one day later.

International careerEdit

Porte was a member of the Uruguay squad that won the 1917 South American Championship but did not play a game at the tournament.[8]

DeathEdit

Before starting the 1918 season, Nacional's committee decided to replace Porte by defender Alfredo Zibechi as starting player, sending Porte to the bench due to his poor performance during the last games played with the club. On 4 March, Nacional played Charley F.C., winning by 3-1 with Porte playing the entire match at a good level. That night, executives and players met at the club headquarters for a celebration as was usual. Porte left the club at 1:00 a.m. and took a tram to the Estadio Gran Parque Central, Nacional's venue.

Once Porte arrived at Parque Central, he went into the centre of the field and shot himself. His body and a suicide note were found the next morning.[9] A dog found his body, drawing it to his master, Severino Castillo. Porte's body had two letters, one for the president of Nacional and the other to a relative.[10]

"Dear Doctor José María Delgado: I ask you and other members of the committee to take care of my family and my dear mother, as I did. Goodbye, dear friend of life"

— Letter to the president of Nacional, José M. Delgado[7]

The people of Uruguay were shocked by the news. Porte was buried at Cementerio de La Teja.[7] Montevideo Wanderers offered Nacional to play a friendly match for the benefit of Porte's family while the rest of the Uruguayan clubs expressed their solidarity to Nacional.[11]

"Nacional was Porte's ideal, he loved the club like a believer loves his faith, like a patriot loves his flag"

— Numa Pesquera, Nacional's executive[11]

LegacyEdit

Writer Horacio Quiroga was inspired on Porte's death to write his short story, "Juan Polti", published in 1918 in Atlántida magazine of Buenos Aires.[12] Another Uruguayan writer, Eduardo Galeano, remembered Porte in a short chapter in his book El Fútbol a Sol y Sombra entitled "Muerte en la cancha" (Death on the pitch).[9]

"After the game v. Charley, the Nacional committee decided that Alfredo Zibechi would play as centre back. Porte would be replaced. He would be a substitute player. He could not stand the impact: he wrote a letter, went to Parque Central (which had been a theatre for Porte's greatest achievements) and put an end to his life on the old field, where he had played brilliantly.(...) Five days later, Nacional played v. Wanderers F.C. in solidarity with Porte's family. We attended that game, where the remember of the Indio floated among us. When the attendance set their distraught eyes to the midfield... they were looking for Porte. We had seen many times there; He had felt asleep there. Maybe the old mindwill tower is still looking at that point"

— Chronicle by Uruguayan journalist Diego Lucero.

The club named "Abdón Porte" the western stand of Gran Parque Central.[13] On March 2008 the Uruguayan Post Office printed a stamp honoring Porte.[14] On August, 2013, Nacional's supporters made a mosaic with the face of Abdón Porte.[15]

HonoursEdit

Nacional

Uruguay

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Abdón Porte - AUF". Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  2. ^ "Abdón Porte: A manera de biografía" on Nacional digital.com
  3. ^ "Una historia de amor por Nacional" Archived 30 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine, El Observador, 5 March 2015
  4. ^ ""Abdón Porte, dueño de sangre tricolor" by Federico Coguzza". Archived from the original on 27 December 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  5. ^ Decano.com: Extracto de "Hacia el campo van los albos" by Xosé de Enríquez, 2000
  6. ^ Gambeteando Frente al Gol: Anécdotas y Relatos Deportivos, págs. 70-71 by Luis Scapinachis - Editorial Barreiro & Ramos, Montevideo, (1964)
  7. ^ a b c Homenaje a Abdon Porte, martir del amor al equipo.
  8. ^ "Southamerican Championship 1917". RSSSF. Retrieved 7 December 2009.
  9. ^ a b El Fútbol a Sol y Sombra by Eduardo Galeano - Siglo XXI Ediciones (2003) - ISBN 9788432311345
  10. ^ "Diario La Prensa: "Abdón Porte: suicidio en la cancha de Parque Central", La Prensa
  11. ^ a b "La muerte de Abdón Porte" on Decano.com
  12. ^ "Periodistas inauguran el primer clásico en "papel y tinta"", El Espectador, 8 November 2013
  13. ^ "Abdón Porte, el ídolo que se suicidó en el campo de juego" by Waldemar Iglesias, Clarín, 7 January 2015
  14. ^ "Administración Nacional de Correos - "Homenaje a Abdón Porte", Correo del Uruguay
  15. ^ "Bueno y si es dos veces Bueno, mejor", Tenfield.com