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Soccer ref remembered by loved ones at match

By Alex Cabrero | Posted - May 25th, 2013 @ 6:59pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — The soccer referee who was punched and killed last month was remembered at a soccer match Saturday.

Family and friends of Ricardo Portillo, 46, held a fundraiser Saturday to remember the man who was killed after a 17-year-old player punched him after he issued a yellow card. Loved ones sold fruit, drinks, and other snacks outside an indoor soccer match hoping to raise a little money for Portillo's daughters.

More than that, they said, it was a chance to come together for the first time since his funeral and make sure he was remembered.

His three daughters, Johana Portillo-Lopez, and Ana and Valeria Portillo, said it meant the world to them.

"It's pretty cool just to see a lot of people come, people we've never met or anything," Ana Portillo said.

Portillo's three daughters were left with many father figures watching over them.

"It's incredible to see how many people loved my dad, and I get to meet people I didn't even know that were really good friends with him," Valerie Portillo said.

Still, they said it has been difficult since their father's death.

"It's hard. It's still really hard," Portillo-Lopez said. "It's really hard when you go home and he's not there. I look at the clock and think, ‘OK, my dad will be coming for home right now,' and he's not coming."

The Portillo family said they still have not been able to go to the field where he was punched, Portillo-Lopez, who lived with him, can't bring herself to go to his room.

"Everything is still like he left it. We haven't touched anything," she said. "It's going to take some time."


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