José María Candela would have turned 60 years old next June: they used to call him Chema, abbreviation for Josè Maria, in English Joseph. A terrific fate to die on Saint Joseph’s Day, the day of the father.
His son, 17 years old, tried to call his dad yesterday afternoon. His father was living alone after a divorce.
…and once again.
Chema Candela passed away in the sadness of his empty house at the age of 59 as announced by his media, Radio Nacional de España (RNE), via Twitter, early this morning. The firefighters found him without life around 1am this morning.
RNE reported that Candela died from the coronavirus. Although the sports journalist, who was living in Boadilla (Madrid), was no tested as explained by AIPS EC Member Juan Antonio Prieto.
“Chema was a very good friend of mine,” AIPS Spanish EC Member Prieto says, “he didn’t attend the UCL open-doors game between Liverpool and Atletico Madrid in Anfield on March 11. He wasn’t feeling well for a week but his appointment to being checked was scheduled for today, March 20. They are not doing tests here in Spain. His brother was the last one speaking to him after lunch. He wasn’t feeling good, even if there wasn’t fever. He was feeling tired and fatigued in breathing. His brother suggested him to rest a bit and he never opened his eyes again.”
But Chema wasn’t the only sport journalist killed by Covid-19 in Spain yesterday. Tomás Díaz-Valdés, the Director General Motorpoint Networks Editores and a veteran reporter for Spanish newspaper AS for thirty years, also passed away at the age of 78.
Complications of coronavirus infection were fatal to this gentleman of journalism as reported by Diario AS.
Key figure in the sports career of Ángel Nieto Díaz, Valdés covered the World Cup until the 90s, and then launched a specialized magazine of the “Top Auto” and “Top Motor” sector.
Tomás Díaz-Valdés competed as an amateur pilot in his youth and began helping an unknown Ángel Nieto at the start of his career.
“He was such an elegant man, with his big moustache,” remembers Paolo Scalera, Gpone.com, “he was representing an old fashioned journalism.
“More calm, less shouted, but truly competent and passionated. Adios Tomas, we will miss you.”