BILBAO: Basque football is in mourning after the death of Athletic Bilbao legend Jose Maria Maguregui, at 79.

Maguregui, nicknamed ‘The Wizard’, formed a legendary halfback line for the Lions in the 1950s with Mauricio Mauri and Jesus Garay. Famously they won the Spansh league and cup double in 1957 then beat the great Hungarian club Honved in the 1956-57 European Cup before losing a dramatic quarter-final to Manchester United’s ‘Busby Babes.’

Other international stars of that team, who won the Spanish cup three times, included goalkeeper Carmelo and outside left ‘Piru’ Gainza.

Maguregui scored 41 goals in 234 games for Bilbao between 1952 and 1961 before winding down his career with brief spells at Sevilla, Espanol and Recreation.

He also lined up seven times for Spain between 1955 and 1957, scoring one goal on his debut against Switzerland. His national team opportunities were restricted by high-class competition from Real Madrid’s Jose Zarraga and Barcelona’s Juan Segarra.

Maguregui had a comparatievyl low-key coaching career with honme town Miravalles, Sestao, Santander, Celta Vigo, Almeria, Espanol, Atletico de Madrid and Murcia.

His speciality was in leading teams to promption which he achieved three times in two spells with Santander as well as with Celta and Almeria.

José María Maguregui: born Miravalles (Vizcaya) on March 16, 1934, died December 30, 2013 in Bilbao.

** Josep Seguer, former Barcelona defender and coach, has died at 90. Seguer played 14 years for Barcelona between 1943 and 1957, scoring 133 goals in 470 games. He won five leagues and four cups. Seguer was briefly first-team coach in 1969.