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Historic Mexican player and coach Tomas Boy passes away

The Tigres and Mexican football legend passed away on Tuesday at age 70.

Morelia v Chivas - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Mexican football lost one of their more important participants when Tomas Boy died on Tuesday after suffering a Pulmonary Thrombosis in Acapulco. Boy was one of the most talented Mexican footballers and is considered one of the two best players in Tigres history, along with current star Andre-Pierre Gignac. With the Mexican National Team, he was the playmaker and captain for the 1986 World Cup team, his only World Cup appearance, which is the only Mexican National Team to have played the infamous quinto partido (fifth game) in the World Cup. Boy later became a manager, where his best moments where in Veracruz and Morelia, where he reached a Liga MX Final. Ever the controversial figure, Boy will always be the image of one of the most talented Mexican players and one of the most important in recent times.

Tomas Boy was born in Mexico City on June 21st of 1951. Boy started his career in Mexico City with Atletico Español, a team that no longer exists. He played there until 1974, when he left for a short spell with Atletico Potosino in San Luis Potosi. A year later, Boy moveed to Monterrey where he started his career with Tigres, the last team he would play for in Mexico. At Tigres, Boy became the most important player in that club’s history at that point. An attacking midfielder, Boy was key in the team’s first two titles as they won the League title in the 1977-1978 season and once again in the 1981-1982 season. Boy was Tigres’ leading scorer up until Andre-Pierre Gignac broke his record in 2019, and yet still is considered the best by many and one of the two best by the majority of Tigres fans.

Boy’s good performance caused him to be a key part of the Mexican National Team that hosted the 1986 World Cup. In one of the strangest coincidences, Tomas Boy scored the first ever goal in Queretaro’s Estadio Corregidora, opening the scoring on a 5-0 victory over Poland. (Boy died on the same day the stadium received a one year ban after the terrible riots that happened there on Saturday, March 5). Boy was the captain of the team that played the 1986 World Cup, although they were rumors (later confirmed to be true) that he didn’t have a good relation with star player Hugo Sanchez. Mexico had their best ever performance in that World Cup after getting wins over Belgium and Iraq and a tie against Paraguay in the group stages to win their group. Then they won in the Round of 16 against Bulgaria, in what has been Mexico’s only win in a knockout stage of the World Cup. Mexico then played for the only time so far in a fifth game of a World Cup, but they had to travel for the first time from Mexico City and face West Germany in Monterrey. In that match Boy had to leave in the first half because of injury, and Mexico fell in the penalty kick shootout. Boy returned to Tigres, but injuries would limit his play and he retired from the Mexican first division in 1988, although he did have a spell in the United States with the San Jose Earthquakes when they were in the Western Soccer Alliance.

Mexico’s Pablo Larios (l) and Tomas Boy (r) trudge dejectedly from the pitch after being knocked out of the World Cup on penalties
Tomas Boy (right) was an integral part of Mexico reaching the quinto partido during the 1986 World Cup.
Photo by S&G/PA Images via Getty Images

Boy started his managerial journey when he became a coach for a spell at Tampico Madero. Later he coached Queretaro before having his first successful tenure with Veracruz. With Veracruz, he was able to guide the team up to the semifinals in 1996 before losing out against the famous Atletico Celaya, led by Spanish international Emilio Butragueño. Boy’s next job was at Morelia, where he also was able to get the team into the semifinal round in the Verano 1997. To get to the semifinal they eliminated America, but fell against eventual champions Chivas. He then moved to coach Monterrey (curiously the biggest rival of his club Tigres) where he wasn’t able to find success. He returned to Morelia, where he was constantly able to get his team to the Liguilla but failed to win a series before going on to a disastrous spell in Puebla. He also had spells coaching at Veracruz and Atlas before returning to Morelia. With Morelia he would get to coach his only Liga MX Final, getting to the Clausura 2011 before losing it to Pumas. After that he had two spells at Atlas, where he saved the team from relegation in 2013. Later, he had a spell at Cruz Azul and another in Chivas, and although both weren’t that successful, they were of course with two of the biggest clubs in Mexico. Finally last year, he coached Mazatlan FC, oddly enough the new home of his most successful team Morelia, where he closed out his coaching career.

During his whole career Boy was controversial but a historic player nonetheless. He made history with Tigres and Mexico, and had a long coaching career that had many ups and downs. The Mexican football world continues to have one of their darkest weeks in history with the terrible news from Queretaro now having to add the death of a person of such magnitude as Boy. May he rest in peace.