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Percovich receives emotional reception at Middlesbrough after tragedy

Leo Percovich receives emotional reception at Middlesbrough as former goalkeeping coach returns following death of his two daughters in car crash

  • Leo Percovich made an emotional return to the Riverside on Saturday evening
  • He walked around the pitch before Middlesbrough's clash with Aston Villa
  • He returned to Boro following the death of his two daughters in a car crash

By Jonathan Spencer For Mailonline

Published: 15:51 EDT, 12 May 2018 | Updated: 19:39 EDT, 12 May 2018

The Riverside was full of emotion prior to Middlesbrough's Championship play-off semi-final first-leg against Aston Villa on Saturday.

Moments before kick-off, former Boro goalkeeping coach Leo Percovich walked around the pitch with his son, Pietro, after his world was turned upside down late last year.

The Uruguayan flew from South America to Teesside to thank the Boro supporters in person after the heartbreaking loss of his two daughters following a car crash.

Leo Percovich and his son Pietro received an emotional reception at the Riverside on Saturday
Leo Percovich and his son Pietro received an emotional reception at the Riverside on Saturday

Leo Percovich and his son Pietro received an emotional reception at the Riverside on Saturday

Percovich (right) tragically lost his two daughters following a car crash late last year
Percovich (right) tragically lost his two daughters following a car crash late last year

Percovich (right) tragically lost his two daughters following a car crash late last year

Percovich, his wife Juliana, and their three children were all involved in the tragic accident in Brazil last December. 

While their son, Pietro, survived despite being seriously ill at one stage, both daughters Antonella and Valentina passed away from their injuries.

And on Saturday at the Riverside, Percovich, who returned for the first time since the car crash, and his son received a very emotional reception as they made their way around the pitch before the first whistle.

It was a very emotional occasion for the pair as they thanked the fans for their support
It was a very emotional occasion for the pair as they thanked the fans for their support

It was a very emotional occasion for the pair as they thanked the fans for their support

Percovich proudly holds up an 'Always Together' banner on the pitch before kick-off
Percovich proudly holds up an 'Always Together' banner on the pitch before kick-off

Percovich proudly holds up an 'Always Together' banner on the pitch before kick-off

Percovich was a terrace favourite during four years at the Riverside between 2013 and 2017
Percovich was a terrace favourite during four years at the Riverside between 2013 and 2017

Percovich was a terrace favourite during four years at the Riverside between 2013 and 2017

His son walked around with a Middlesbrough flag, while the 50-year-old proudly held up a red-coloured banner, which read 'Always Together'.

It was a memorable moment for the pair and they would have been deeply touched by the welcome they received. 

Percovich was a terrace favourite during four years at the Riverside and the chest-thumping tribute he paid all four corners of the ground told you why. Unfortunately, the Teesside club were beaten 1-0 in the first-leg, thanks to Mile Jedinak's goal for the visitors.

Mile Jedinak scored the only goal of the game as Aston Villa beat Middlesbrough 1-0
Mile Jedinak scored the only goal of the game as Aston Villa beat Middlesbrough 1-0

Mile Jedinak scored the only goal of the game as Aston Villa beat Middlesbrough 1-0

 

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