Neil Warnock and Cardiff chief Ken Choo join mourners at Emiliano Sala funeral

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock and club CEO Ken Choo joined mourners at the funeral of Emiliano Sala in his hometown in Argentina on Saturday.

The 28-year-old striker’s body was repatriated on Friday before it was returned to Progreso, about 350 miles from Buenos Aires, for the public vigil.

Warnock and Choo joined locals from the small town for a service in the gymnasium of Sala’s boyhood club, San Martin de Progreso.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Warnock and Choo paid their respects at the service in Progreso (AP)</figcaption>
Warnock and Choo paid their respects at the service in Progreso (AP)

They arrived wearing black suits with yellow daffodils pinned to their jackets as a tribute to Sala.

Cardiff’s players have also worn shirts bearing the flower in memory of Sala, who became the club’s record £15 million signing days before his death.

Sala’s mother and father were also present at the vigil.

His body will be cremated at a private service in the city of Santa Fe on Saturday afternoon local time.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Tributes at Cardiff City Stadium for the tragic striker (Aaron Chown/PA)</figcaption>
Tributes at Cardiff City Stadium for the tragic striker (Aaron Chown/PA)

Before the funeral, San Martin de Progreso posted a tribute to Facebook which said: “We are waiting for you… like the first day you left but this time to stay with us forever. You went and you are an example for everyone.”

He died on January 21 when the plane he was travelling in crashed in the English Channel after he had visited players at his former French club, Nantes.

His body was pulled from the wreckage on February 7 but the British pilot, David Ibbotson, 59, from Lincolnshire, has not been found.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>The striker had become Cardiff’s most expensive signing (AP)</figcaption>
The striker had become Cardiff’s most expensive signing (AP)

A fundraising campaign to restart the search for the pilot has raised more than £240,000.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain earlier this week, his daughter Danielle said the family would not give up hope.

“If you’ve got hope then you shouldn’t give up,” she said. “He wouldn’t stop searching for me.”

She added: “We still hope and pray and hope everyone keeps my dad in their prayers.”

The plane remains on the seabed off the coast of Guernsey in the English channel.

- Press Association

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