Sad news was announced yesterday morning by Coquimbo Kingdom. The Buenos Aires entity informed its fans of the death of the prominent former defender, Alfonso “Pocho” Moralesat the age of 83.
The defender, of a height of importance for the national media at the time, 1.80 tall, defended the aurinegro team since April 19, 1959, fulfilling outstanding campaigns in the years 1963-1964, being one of the most relevant figures of the national media, was characterized by strong, although loyal, play, when he defended Deportes La Serena, archrival of the Pirates, he demanded not to play against Coquimbo.
The historian, Felipe Fernández, recalls that Morales’ career was very significant, “from the age of 19 he was a worker at the Private Employees Fund of Coquimbo, having to combine schedules to work and play professionally. “Pocho,” like his father, was always a working man until his last days, despite the health complications that deteriorated him.
Fernández remembers that Alfonso’s story goes back to the beginning of the last century, “Pocho’s” father, Don Francisco Morales Mendicuchea, was a native of the town of Novales, Spain, where he was a neighbor and close friend of another future hero of history. of Coquimbo Kingdom, Mr. Francisco Sánchez Rumoroso. Morales Sr. arrived in Buenos Aires escaping the incipient Spanish Civil War that was ravaging the Iberian Peninsula in those turbulent 1930s. His friend Francisco Sánchez Rumoroso convinced him to leave Buenos Aires and come to Coquimbo in 1936 where they worked together in the sale of genres for wholesalers.”
He was selected as a Coquimbano water polo player, he practiced javelin, shot put, long jump and roller hockey, but what served him most for his football career was basketball.
Atlético el Llano was the club in which he trained and made lifelong friends, like José Sulantay, whom he would face years later and more than once, on a soccer field. At 15 years old he was already a Coquimbo youth team participating in national tournaments. He then emigrated to Coquimbo Sporting until he received a call from Doctor Pugh, who told him that he needed him at Coquimbo Kingdom since the club would soon be accepted into the promotion division. Morales did not hesitate, but first he had to refuse on several occasions to the Serenense leaders who did not lose track of him.
On April 19, 1959, Morales debuted with Coquimbo Unidos in professional soccer. “They were beautiful years, 70% of the team was made up of Coquimbanos who played for their shirt and if they had to stick with their heads, they did it” Morales said at his home in El Llano, in one of the last interviews he gave. .
Fernández himself left the testimony in a note he made to the defender, pointing out that, “the ’62 team was very united, but we did not get along well with our coach Fidel Cuiña, that’s why in a match against Ñublense in Chillan, Very upset, I told Cuiña that the players don’t want anything more with him, that he should resign for the good of the team.” Dr. Pugh tried to mediate, but the relationship was already broken. Cuiña had no choice but to resign and with this Alfonso Morales became a great leader for his colleagues. Oscar Olivares would take charge of the team and a few dates later they would achieve the historic promotion at the Technical University.
“Alfonso Morales was a strong player, but loyal. Nobility and nobility were his main characteristics. A man of his word, he did not hesitate to demand from the Serenense leaders that if they wanted to hire him, that he would never play against his team, Coquimbo Kingdom. Several opposed that request on the maroon team. Morales said “If that request is not fulfilled, thank you very much, but I will not sign.” So it was. Alfonso Morales never played against Coquimbo Unidos while he played for the archrival between 1967 and 1971,” he recalled.
He also held administrative positions in Coquimbo Kingdom, at the time where the Aurinegros had the Brazilian trident Torino, Liminha and Bené.
The family announced that his body is being laid to rest at the La Unión funeral home, located on Videla corner Carmona in Coquimbo and his funeral will be this Tuesday at the Buen Pastor church, where a mass will be held at 3:00 p.m.