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Family and friends bid farewell to Andy Hug

People in Zurich arrive to pay their last respects to Hug Keystone

Thousands of people have turned out to pay their last respects to the Swiss kickboxing champion, Andy Hug, who died on August 24.

This content was published on September 1, 2000 - 16:30

A memorial service at Zurich's Grossmunster cathedral was attended by family and friends, as well as some of the big names in the world of sports.

Fans laid flowers and photos outside the church during the one-hour service.

After the service Hug's widow, Ilona, expressed her thanks for the big turnout. She said she and her son now needed time to be alone and requested the public to respect their privacy.

The mayor of Zurich, Josef Estermann, praised Hug for his personal qualities and sporting determination.

"He was warm, friendly, open and sensitive... And he was an athlete, artist and perfectionist," Estermann said. "He had an iron determination to achieve his goals. He didn't just dream, he made his dreams come true."

The founder of the Japanese professional kickboxing league, Kazuyoshi Ishii, said Hug's legacy lived on.

"The sport will be known around the world," Ishii said. "That was Andy's dream, and I will carry out his wish."

Hug died in Japan of acute leukaemia.

swissinfo with agencies

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