MADRID: Ignacio Zoco, a favourite with Real Madrid fans in the 1960s and honorary president of the club’s veteran players’ association, has died at 76 writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Current coach Rafa Benitez interrupted training to order a one-minute silence among the current squad who face Malmo in Sweden in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Real Madrid's 1966 European Cup Final winners against Partizan Belgrade. Standing: Araquistain, Pachin, De Felipe, Sanchis, Pirri, Zoco. Front: Serena, Amancio, Grosso, Velazquez, Gento.

Tributes poured from players past and present and recent including current captain Sergio Ramos as well as Iker Casillas, Javi Martínez and Michel and the various main organisations of Spanish football.

Ignacio Zoco Esparza played for Madrid between 1962 and 1974. A tall, lanky, defensive lefthalf, he won seven league titles, two Spanish cups and the European Champions Cup in 1966 as a member of the so-called ‘Yey-Ye’ team. He scored 17 goals in 434 games for Madrid.

Born in Garde (Navarre) in north-western Spain, on July 31, 1939, Zoco played for local club Oberena Navarre and then Osasuna of Pamplona then transferring to Madrid two years later. While with Osasuna he became the first second division player to appear for the national team in a 2-1 win over Wales on April 19, 1961, in Cardiff.

In total Zoco played 25 games with Spain and was a member of the team who beat the Soviet Union 2-1 in Madrid’s Estadio Bernabeu to win the European Championship in 1964.

His last international appearance was on February 23, 1969 against Belgium. He became sports adviser to the regional government of Navarra before, in 1982, returned to Real Madrid as manager of nursery club Castilla.

Zoco was a founding vice-president of the Asociación de Ex Jugadores del Real Madrid in 1993 and succeeded to the presidency in September, 2014, after the death of Alfredo Di Stefano.