Roqué in training with Betis
|Full name||Miguel Roqué Farrero|
|Date of birth||8 July 1988|
|Place of birth||Tremp, Spain|
|Date of death||24 June 2012(aged 23)|
|Place of death||Barcelona, Spain|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|2007||→ Oldham Athletic (loan)||4||(0)|
|2007–2008||→ Xerez (loan)||1||(0)|
|2008–2009||→ Cartagena (loan)||30||(3)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
He signed with Liverpool before his 18th birthday, going on to be loaned to several teams in England and Spain for the duration of his contract. In 2009 he joined Betis, playing in Segunda División with the club.
Roqué died in June 2012 at the age of 23, due to cancer.
Early years / Liverpool
Roqué was born in Tremp, Lleida, Catalonia. At only 17 he was signed from local side UE Lleida by Liverpool, managed by countryman Rafael Benítez. He came on as a substitute in both legs of the 2006 FA Youth Cup Final against Manchester City, heading the last goal of a 3–0 win at Anfield in the first leg; he made his first-team debut in the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League against Galatasaray SK on 5 December 2006 – also coming from the bench, replacing another Spaniard, Xabi Alonso – in a 2–3 away loss.
On 21 March 2007, Roqué went on an emergency loan to Football League One club Oldham Athletic. Ten days later, he played his first match in a domestic league, filling in for goalscorer Gary McDonald for the final minute of a 1–0 win over Yeovil Town at Boundary Park. He made three further appearances over the season, ending with his first start on 21 April, a 1–2 defeat at Crewe Alexandra.
Roqué returned to Spain on 3 August 2007, signing for Xerez CD of Segunda División again on a temporary basis. He made his debut for them on 5 September, as they defeated Racing de Ferrol 3–1 at home in the second round of the Copa del Rey; despite also playing in the triumph at Albacete Balompié in the next round, and both legs of the defeat to Recreativo de Huelva in the round of 32, he only featured once in the league – a 1–3 away loss to CD Tenerife on 18 November.
On 16 June 2009, Liverpool released Roqué after a four-year stay, and he returned to Spain with Real Betis' reserves the following month. In his second match, he was sent off at the end of a 2–1 home win over AD Ceuta, being dismissed again 18 days later in a 5–2 loss at Sangonera Atlético CF; his third red card came the following 24 January, in a 1–1 away draw against Écija Balompié.
Roqué started appearing with the main squad in 2010–11, making his debut on 9 October after replacing Rovérsio late into the first half of a 2–2 draw at UD Las Palmas. He totalled 12 games (ten starts) and two goals, as the Andalusians returned to La Liga after a two-year absence.
Health and death
On 5 March 2011, after undergoing a routine check-up due to back problems, Roqué was diagnosed with pelvic cancer, undergoing surgery to excise a malignant tumor the following day. Betis' fan clubs raised funds for his treatment, while Carles Puyol, of the same province, financed €30,000 for specialist private treatment.
On 24 June 2012, after just over a year of illness, Roqué lost his battle against cancer and died, two weeks before his 24th birthday. His death prompted a series of tributes on Twitter, including from several international players competing in UEFA Euro 2012; On 1 July, after the final of the continental competition, Spain goalkeeper Pepe Reina (his former Liverpool team-mate) wore a Betis shirt featuring Roqué's name during the players' victory lap of the Olympic Stadium in Kiev.
To the Betis fans, Roqué became known as "The Eternal 26", in reference to his kit number during his spell at the club, and the fans chanted his name in the 26th minute of each half of a match. In 2013, a monolith dedicated to him was unveiled in his hometown, with a plaque endowed with the crests of the clubs that he represented.
During his illness, Roqué worked with writer Juan Manuel López: to have a book on himself published was one of his two wishes, the other being to return to football. La Luz de Miki Roqué (The Light of Miki Roqué) was released in March 2015, featuring contributions from his family and Betis staff.
- "Fallece Miki Roqué" [Miki Roqué dies]. Marca (in Spanish). 24 June 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- "Youngsters seal Liverpool switch". BBC Sport. 16 August 2005. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
- "Threlfall sets Liverpool on way to youth glory". The Guardian. 14 April 2006. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
- "Galatasaray 3–2 Liverpool". BBC Sport. 5 December 2006. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- "Oldham capture Liverpool teenager". BBC Sport. 21 March 2007. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
- "Sheridan hails treble capture". Sky Sports. March 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
- "Oldham 1–0 Yeovil". BBC Sport. 30 March 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
- "MEMORY LANE: Nicky Maynard inspires Crewe Alex triumph over Oldham Athletic". Crewe Chronicle. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
- "El central del Liverpool, Miki Roque, nuevo jugador del Xerez" [Liverpool stopper, Miki Roqué, new Xerez player] (in Spanish). Más Jerez. 3 August 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
- "Ricardo abandera la reacción de un Tenerife que deja herido al Xerez" [Ricardo spearheads a Tenerife reaction that leaves Xerez wounded]. El Diario (in Spanish). 18 November 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
- "Spanish defender goes on loan". Liverpool F.C. 11 August 2008. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
- "El Betis "B" ficha al español Miki Roqué (21 años) del Liverpool CF" [Betis B signs Spaniard Miki Roqué (21 years) from Liverpool FC] (in Spanish). Join Futbol. 22 July 2009. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
- "El filial se impone al Ceuta" [The reserves impose themselves on Ceuta] (in Spanish). El Desmarque. 23 September 2009. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
- "Los filiales de Sevilla y Betis caen derrotados" [The reserves of Sevilla and Betis are defeated]. Sevilla Actualidad (in Spanish). 11 October 2009. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
- "Valioso punto del Betis B en Écija" [Valuable point from Betis B in Écija] (in Spanish). El Desmarque. 24 January 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
- "Las Palmas 2 Betis 2". Diario AS (in Spanish). 9 October 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
- "Miki Roqué y Dorado se convierten en delanteros y firman la remontada del Betis" [Miki Roqué and Dorado turn forwards and sign Betis comeback]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 16 October 2010. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
- "El Betis se reafirma como líder sólido" [Betis stakes a claim as undisputed leader]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 15 January 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
- Cejudo, José María (7 May 2013). "Miki Roqué homenajeado en su pueblo" [Miki Roqué honoured in his hometown] (in Spanish). Beticismo. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
- "Le detectan un tumor maligno a Miki Roqué" [Miki Roqué diagnosed with malignant tumor]. Marca (in Spanish). 5 March 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
- "2.800 euros para Miki Roqué" [2,800 euros for Miki Roqué]. Marca (in Spanish). 29 September 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
- "Carles Puyol costeó el tratamiento de Miki Roqué" [Carles Puyol paid for Miki Roqué's treatment]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 25 June 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
- Former Liverpool FC defender Miki Roque dies at the age of 23; Click Liverpool, 24 June 2012
- "Soccer-Betis defender Roque dies of cancer". Reuters. 24 June 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- Spain dedicate success to loved ones and lost ones; ESPN, 1 July 2012
- "Tres años del adiós de Miki Roqué, el eterno 26" [Three years since the goodbye to Miki Roqué, the eternal 26]. ABC (in Spanish). 24 June 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
- "El Betis, en la presentación del libro ‘La Luz de Miki Roqué’: “Fue un ejemplo de vida”" [Betis in presentation of the book 'La Luz de Miki Roqué': "He was an example in life"]. ABC (in Spanish). 12 March 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2016.