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Flora mourn Martinkenas

Published: Tuesday 20 July 2004, 22.53CET
Former Lithuania goalkeeper Valdemaras Martinkenas died in Slovenia prior to FC Flora's tie against NK Gorica.

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Published: Tuesday 20 July 2004, 22.53CET

Flora mourn Martinkenas

Former Lithuania goalkeeper Valdemaras Martinkenas died in Slovenia prior to FC Flora's tie against NK Gorica.

Former Lithuanian international goalkeeper Valdemaras Martinkenas has died in Slovenia prior to Estonian champions FC Flora's UEFA Champions League first qualifying round second-leg tie against NK Gorica.

River drowning
The 39-year-old, who was goalkeeping coach for Flora and the Estonian national team, went for a swim in a mountain river on Tuesday, the day before the game in Nova Gorica, got caught in strong currents and drowned.

Poom tribute
Sunderland AFC's Estonian international goalkeeper Mart Poom, who had worked closely with Martinkenas for several years, told uefa.com: "This is an unrivalled loss for Estonian football and for me personally."

Result 'has no importance'
Going into Wednesday's second leg, Flora trail Gorica 4-2. "All our minds and hearts are with Valdas and his family," said Flora president Aivar Pohlak. "We will play for him, but the result has no importance for us at this devastating moment."

Playing career
As a player, Martinkenas featured in the Soviet, Baltic, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Swiss, Estonian, Finnish and Russian leagues as well as appearing twice for FC Dynamo Kyiv in the UEFA Champions League. He was capped 18 times by his country.

Last updated: 01/02/12 3.47CET

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