Televised but simple funeral for golf legend Seve Ballesteros

09:36, May 12, 2011      

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Spanish golf legend Severiano Ballesteros was this Wednesday given a simple funeral in his home town of Pedrena in northern Spain.

Ballesteros, who died on Saturday aged 54 after a two year battle against a brain tumor, was perhaps the most popular Spanish sports personality ever. He won the British Open on three occasions and the Masters twice, as well as playing for and captaining the European Ryder Cup team.

He was one of the first Spanish personalities to become well known outside of Spain following the end of the dictatorship of Franco in 1975 and his great talent and open friendly personality helped change many perceptions about his country.

'Seve' as he was commonly known, was also hugely popular in Spain and as a result, the funeral was televised live on national television.

The ceremony saw his ashes taken from his house in town, which overlooks a scenic bay, and taken to the local church, accompanied by the local rowing team and several children from the Severiano Ballesteros, which he set up to help raise funds to aid cancer research and help victims of the disease.

One of the children also carried a 3 iron, the club with which Seve began to play golf as a youngster. Although the church only held 300 people, the service was also broadcast on screens in the town.

Personalities from the world of sport, and golf in particular were present, among they Ryder Cup captains, Nick Faldo, Sam Torrance, Colin Montgomerie, Bernard Gallagher and fellow Spaniard, Jose Maria Olazabal.

Other golfers such as Lee Westwood and Miguel Angel Jimenez also attended the ceremony, along with Alejandro Blanco, the President of the Spanish Olympic Committee and the Minister of Sport, Albert Soler.

Following the ceremony, Seve' s ashes were taken home to rest beneath his favorite magnolia tree.

Source: Xinhua
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