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Real Betis defender Roque dies
SEVILLA, Spain (AP) Real Betis says defender Miki Roque has died of cancer. He was 23.
Roque came up through the Liverpool youth system and debuted with the first team before moving on to play for Oldham in England. He later moved to Spain where he played for Xerez and Cartagena before joining Betis.
The club issued a statement Sunday expressing its "great pain" at the player's passing.
Spain defender Gerard Pique was among the players to send condolences on Twitter: "A big hug to Miki Roque's family. I knew him when he was a Liverpool player and I was at (Manchester) United. Rest in peace my friend."
Roque underwent surgery to remove a malignant tumor in his pelvis in March 2011.
Updated June 24, 2012