Former Crystal Palace player Andrejs Rubins dies at the age of 43

Former Crystal Palace midfielder Andrejs Rubins – who played 117 times for his country Latvia – dies at the age of 43 as Selhurst Park club pay tribute

  • The Latvian is the second most capped player ever to play for the country
  • Enjoyed a two-year spell at Crystal Palace in which he scored a memorable goal
  • Player left the Eagles in 2002 for Spartak Moscow in the Russian top flight 

Former Crystal Palace player Andrejs Rubins has passed away at the age of 43. 

The left-sided midfield player represented his country, Latvia, 117 times across 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. 

The left-sided midfield player is remembered fondly by Crystal Palace fans for his goal against Liverpool in 2001 

The club’s statement made reference to Rubins’ most notable moment in English football when he scored a stunning effort in Palace’s 2-1 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. 

His only other goal for the club came in the same competition that very season, playing a significant role in downing Leicester on their way to the semi-finals. 

Andrejs Rubins’ most significant moment of his career was playing for his country at Euro 2004

The crowing moment of his career was competing with Latvia at Euro 2004, most significantly when the small Baltic state held the 2002 World Cup finalists to a 0-0 draw in Portugal. 

Rubins first emerged in senior football at Osters IF in Sweden before he returned to Riga to play for Skonto FC. It was from there he joined Palace. 

Having left Palace 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. 

Crystal Palace went on to lose the tie overall against Liverpool but the goal is written into Palace folklore

In 2003, he joined Russian club 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 took him to the Caspian Sea where he played for three clubs, namely Inter Baku, Qarabag and then Simurq PFC in Azerbaijan. 

Rubins retired from the game in 2013 citing a hip injury. 

‘The thoughts of everyone associated with Crystal Palace are with Andrejs’ loved ones at this truly sad time,’ Palace concluded their statement. 

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