There’s a popular saying ‘if you can’t find something to live for, find something to die for’. However, a certain Uruguayan ticked both boxes. He lived and died for the game he loved.
This is the story of Abdon Porte;
Abdon Porte was born in 1893, in the small, beautiful, city of Duranzo in Uruguay. At the age of 15, he moved to Montevideo. He began his footballing career at Colón fútbol club. Porte played as a defensive midfielder and showed great promise.
His career got for the better when he moved to Nacíonal in 1911, there he developed into a combative central midfielder.
At 18, Porte made his debut for Nacíonal and not long after, he became a fan favorite because of his versatility on different positions. He was eventually given the number 5 jersey.
The more Porte played for Nacíonal, the more his passion and affection for the club grew stronger, also the more he won a place in the heart of each and every fan of the club.
He was ready to play till his last drop of blood. Porte possessed all the qualities needed of a leader and this made the club to hand him the captain’s armband(He became the club’s captain).
Everything seemed to be going well for Abdon Porte and Nacíonal, they won the Uruguayan championship in 1912, 1915, 1916, and 1917, and Porte was also called up to the Uruguayan national team in 1917 for the Copa America that year, which Porte and Uruguay won.
Tragedy came knocking when Porte sustained a serious knee injury in the 80th minute of the cup final in 1917, even though Porte tried his best to finish the game with the injury, that match marked the beginning of Porte’s end.
The knee injury grew worse and continued even when the new season resumed. His doctors warned him that his days as a footballer was coming to an end.
As a result of the injury, Porte was no longer able to perform as well as he used to, and this made him lose his place in the team, he now played more as a substitute. This situation caused Porte serious depression because he was no longer able to play for the club he grew up to love.
On the 3rd of March 1918, Porte played his last ever game for Nacíonal. They won 3-1 against Charley Football club. According to reports, Porte’s performance in that match was not particularly fantastic. The next day, being 4th March, 1918, Porte visited his brother Juan and he said to him “Juan, my life without Nacíonal and without football doesn’t make sense”.
In the evening of that day, Porte joined his teammates to celebrate their victory over Charley FC the previous day. Porte waited with them until 1am on 5th March, 1918, he then made his way to the club’s(Nacíonal) stadium. He knelt down at the centre of the field with tears in his eyes and took his life by shooting himself in the heart. The next day, his body was found.
He left a note for the club president, Jose Maria Delgado which read;
“Dear Jose Maria Delgado, I ask you
and other members of the committee
to take care of my family and my dear
mother as I did.
Good-bye dear friend of life”.
Porte was buried the next day at Cementriode LA Teja.
Porte’s legacy is one which will live on in football forever.