World Cup Legends: Honduras and Gilberto Yearwood

by Alan Robins

gilberto yearwoodConsidered the best Honduran footballer of all time, Gilberto Jerónimo Yearwood was born in San Pedro Sula in March 1956. As a youth he grew up playing football for Los Alcaranes in the Suyapa barrio of his home town then Colegio La Salle.

In 1973 he joined Real CD España, that season at the age of just 17 years, winning the league in his first season. Los Aurinegros and ‘El Viking’ as Yearwood became known would win the title the following two seasons. His performances saw him called into the Honduran squad for the 1977 Youth World Cup in Tunisia, where they would finish a credible second in their group.

By now, still only 21, defensive midfielder Yearwood had attracted the attention of Spanish clubs and his transfer to Elche CF that year was the start of nine seasons in Spain. His arrival could not prevent Los Franjiverdes from relegation and the next two seasons were frustrating, Elche just missing out on promotion. Three seasons followed at Real Valladolid, EL Viking being part of the team that gained mid-table stability before pushing for a UEFA Cup place.

During this time Yearwood, made his debut for the senior team at the 1982 World Cup against Spain – a match which marked Los Catrachos’ first ever World Cup match, El Viking outstanding as Honduras held the hosts. A draw against group winners would not be enough as a loss in the next match to Yugoslavia saw Los Catrachos exit the competition. Yearwood would be an essential figure for Honduras, going on to 46 appearances until 1993.

In Spain, saw his 1982-3 season curtailed by injury, contributing to his move in 1983 to CD Tenerife in the second division. Fully recovered Yearwood transferred to Celta Vigo the following summer helping them to third in the second division. 1985-86 saw his final season in Spain back with the club where he started his Spanish adventure – Elche CF.

The end of the season saw a return to Honduras and spells at CD Olimpia and CD Motagua seeing out his career as a centre back retiring in 1994 at 38 years of age. El Viking was characterized by his ability, particularly in the air, strength coupled with an elegance on the pitch as well as his leadership qualities.

To commemorate FIFA’s centenary, the Honduran Football Federation unanimously voted Yearwood their outstanding player.

 

GREATEST SQUAD – STARTING XI [4-3-3]

NOEL VALLADARES

DOMINGO DRUMMOND                         MAYNOR FIGUEROA

ANTHONY COSTLY                                                                                         EMILIO IZAGUIRRE

GILBERTO YEARWOOD                     MARVIN CHÁVEZ

AMADO GUEVARA

ÓSCAR GARCÍA                                                                                             DAVID SUAZO

CARLOS PAVÓN

 

GREATEST SQUAD – RESERVES

GK: MILTON FLORES

GK: JULIO ARZÚ

LB: ROGER ESPINOZA

RB: MILTON REYES

CB: JAIME VILLEGAS

CB: FERNANDO BULNES

CDM: WILSON PALACIOS

CM: IVÁN GUERRERO

CM: CÉSAR OBANDO

AM: JULIO CÉSAR DE LEÓN

ST: MILTON NÚÑEZ

ST: WILMER VELÁSQUEZ

 

Created by Alan Robins Images by Jorge Manuel Martins

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply