Anton Arieta, historic Athletic Club striker, dies


The former Athletic Club striker Anton Arieta-Araunabeña Piedra, better known as ‘Arieta II’ and who played 358 games and 10 seasons with the rojiblanco team, has died in recent hours at the age of 76, the Basque club confirmed this Saturday.

“The entire rojiblanca family joins in pain those closest to Durangarra. Anton was a ‘superclass’ on the field and off. He was a center forward practically throughout his career, except for those games in which he shared (11) with his older brother, Eneko. Playing alongside him was one of the great illusions of his life”, recalled the Bilbao club.

In total, he defended the Athletic Club shirt for ten years, in which he played 358 games and scored 83 goals. From his boots came the goals that gave Athletic two Cups at the Santiago Bernabéu, the one in Elche in 1969 and the one in Castellón in 1973, after losing two previous finals.

Arieta II was with Athletic from 1964 to 1974, when he signed for Hércules for two years, where he retired. His brother Eneko Arieta-Araunabeña, who was 12 years older than him, was another legend in Athletic, and both played more than 300 games for the rojiblanco.

The rojiblanco club reported that the Athletic players will wear black armbands in memory of Arieta II in the match against Valencia this Saturday, and San Mamés will observe a heartfelt minute of silence in memory of their center forward.