THE new coach of football team Villarreal has died 24 hours after taking the job.

Manuel Preciado, 54, suffered a heart attack just hours after agreeing to join the relegated side, known as the Yellow Submarine.

The former Sporting Gijon coach had been out of work since his sacking in January, following six years at the club.

Preciado had suffered a double tragedy in the last decade after his wife died from cancer in 2002 and his 15-year-old son was killed in a car accident last year.

One of the highlights of his time at Gijon came in April 2011, when his team ended Jose Mourinho’s nine-year unbeaten home league record when they defeated Real Madrid.

Mourinho was among the first to pay tribute to Preciado, saying: “Manolo was always an honourable opponent, who I got to know well when he came to visit us in Madrid.

“He had everything that I like in a person and in sportsmen: character, openness and the courage to fight against blows.

“My memory of him will be heartfelt and permanent.”

Former Arsenal star Cesc Fabregas added on Twitter: “I can’t believe the bad news I just woke up with. Hugs for the family of Manolo Preciado. RIP my friend.”

Subscribe to the Olive Press

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.