Tributes have been paid by supporters and clubs across Europe after former Crystal Palace player Andrejs Rubins dies aged 43.
The left-sided midfield player represented his country, Latvia, over 13 years making him the second most capped player ever to play for the country.
Palace released a statement on Wednesday sharing their condolences after it had initially been reported on social media by various accounts before being confirmed.
We are deeply saddened to learn that former player Andrejs Rubins has passed away aged 43.
The thoughts of everyone associated with Crystal Palace are with Andrejs’ loved ones at this truly sad time ❤️?#CPFC
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) August 3, 2022
CRYSTAL PALACE STATEMENT:
Crystal Palace Football Club were deeply saddened to learn that former player Andrejs Rubins has passed away aged 43.
Rubins represented the club 37 times between 2000-2002, and is best known among supporters for his memorable goal against Liverpool in the 2000/01 League Cup.
His other goal in club colours was equally remarkable, launching in from 30 yards against Leicester City – also in the League Cup. The strike helped Palace reach the competition’s semi-finals.
Rubins began his career in his native Latvia but first broke-through with Östers IF in Sweden. He joined Palace in 2000 from Skonto F.C, and left for Spartak Moscow in December 2002.
The midfielder then continued his career in Europe and Azerbaijan before retiring with a hip injury in 2013.
Internationally, Rubins is considered one of the greatest Latvian players ever, representing his country 117 times – the second most in history – over 13 years.
The thoughts of everyone associated with Crystal Palace are with Andrejs’ loved ones at this truly sad time.
Andrejs Rubins, scorer of the brilliant opening goal for Palace against Liverpool in the League Cup back in 2001, has sadly and unexpectedly passed away.
Awful news. He was just 43. Our thoughts are with his friends and family. ❤️?pic.twitter.com/m1c9BUqQCZ
— Five Year Plange (@FYPFanzine) August 3, 2022
RIP Rubins pic.twitter.com/N10UU0gRMf
— RedNBlueArmy (@RedNBlueArmy1) August 3, 2022
As mentioned, the club’s statement made reference to Rubins’ most notable moment in English football when he scored a belter to help Palace win 2-1 in the first leg semi-final victory over Liverpool at Selhurst Park.
The Eagles would go on to lose the tie 6-2 on aggregate but the goal is remembered fondly by Palace faithful and features in compilation videos of classic CPFC goals.
His only other goal for the club came in the same competition also in that season, playing a big role in downing Leicester on their way to the semi-finals.
The biggest moment of his career came earlier in his career, competing with Latvia at Euro 2004, and was remembered significantly for helping the small Baltic state hold the 2002 World Cup finalists to a 0-0 draw in Portugal.
Rubins first came onto the senior football scene at Osters IF in Sweden before he returned to Riga to play for Skonto FC, before joining Palace.
Having left them after two years and 37 appearances he went to Spartak Moscow in the Russian Premier League with whom he struggled across two spells, initially in 2003 and then from 2005 to 2007, making only five league appearances.
In 2003, he joined Russian outfit Shinnik Yaroslavl where he enjoyed some of the best football of his career, playing 51 times across two years and scoring four times.
His late career saw him play for the likes of Inter Baku, Qarabag and then Simurq PFC in Azerbaijan.
Rubins retired from the game in 2013 citing a hip injury and then went into coaching.
–1996 FK Auda
1996 – FK Auda
1997 – Östers IF – 11 games (0 goals)
1998–2000 – Skonto – 67 games (14 goals)
2000–2003 – Crystal Palace – 31 games (2 goals)
2003 – Spartak Moscow
2003–2004 – Shinnik Yaroslavl – 51 games (4 goals)
2005–2007 – Spartak Moscow – 5 games (0 goals)
2006 → Shinnik Yaroslavl (loan) – 13 games (0 goals)
2007 → Liepājas Metalurgs (loan) – 18 games (1 goal)
2008–2010 – Inter Baku – 49 games (9 goals)
2010–2011 – Qarabağ – 12 games (0 goals)
2011–2012 – Simurq PFC – 18 games (1 goal)
1998–2011 – Latvia – 117 games (9 goals)
2014–2016 – FK Ogre (assistant)
2019 – FK Auda
Andrejs Rubins has passed away aged 43.
— CPFC HQ (@CPFCHQ) August 3, 2022
Such sad news played with Rubins good player and a brilliant person thoughts and prayers go out to his family ??
— Clinton Morrison (@morrisonclinton) August 3, 2022
As mentioned, tributes were paid after hearing the former Crystal Palace player dies aged 43…
@GilesyL14: RIP Andrejs Rubins. Those goals vs Leicester & Liverpool brought a lot of joy at a time when there wasn’t much to be happy about as a Palace fan. 43 is no age. #cpfc
@DepecheToad: Desperately sad. Never forget that Liverpool screamer. Thoughts with his fam. X?
@DannyHmmFace: That’s so sad. RIP Andrejs. ?
@WillR1991: One of the first players I remember watching ? rip
@Bearded_Jamie: That left boot didn’t half connect with a few screamers. RIP Andrejs
@GottaBigMouth: Dude was ridiculously quick too. Think he has to be the fastest player I’ve seen.
@RuffecEagle: Remember singing ‘ we’ve got a greyhound on the wing’ away at Leicester in the cup he was that fast!
@AG_Smithy: So sad so young #RIPAndrejs thinking of you and family
@ARJW78: The passing of any former player is horribly sad, it stings more when you saw them play and they are younger than you. Undoubtedly one of his country’s greatest players and boy could he hit a ball. May he rest in peace.
@happychat84: Champ 01/02 will be always remembered for me
@Bannister121: It’s the Leicester goal that sticks in mind. Absolutely rocket. RIP Andrejs. ?
@allanneave: Shocked …. Very sad news. Won’t be forgotten and all the very best to those close to him. ?❤️??
@fivestarjane: Incredibly sad. Thoughts are with his family ❤️?
@DopeyD19: 43 years old, is far to young for any person to pass away.
@ArthurWaitDM: Will always remember that goal against Liverpool ❤️ RIP
@Hambo1980: So sad to hear about Andrejs Rubins. A real “cult hero” kind of a player at palace who had incredible potential and probably would have thrived in the modern era. Huge talent for the Latvian National Team. RIP Andrejs #cpfc
@RyanTCWallis: Really sad about Andrejs Rubins. The team around that time holds a special place in my heart as I was finally at the age to form actual connections with players and the club itself. #CPFC
@briansparrow191: RIP. Hopefully Palace will show some respect on Friday
@wrightandbright: So sorry to hear this. RIP ❤️ ?
@skoladave: Great shame. Fantastic player. Far too young.