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    Oct 2011

    Football club pay woman's rent

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    Well done Rayo! Anyone ever been there? It's a very tight 3 sided ground in a working class district of Madrid. Easy to get to on the tube. Recommend it if you're visiting. Bit different to the Bernabeu.

    Woman evicted at 85 after her son loses house to debt is helped by football club
    Rayo Vallecano vows to pay Carmen Martínez Ayudo’s rent for the rest of her life after she is turfed out by police in Madrid
    Stephen Burgen in Barcelona

    Carmen Martínez Ayudo was driven from her home after her son had used it as security for a €40,000 loan from an individual.

    Ayudo, from Vallecas – a working-class area of Madrid, Spain – was later told the local football club Rayo Vallecano would pay her rent for the rest of her life. She said: “I’ve no more tears to cry.”

    Ayudo’s plight came after ownership of the home was transferred to her son following the death of her husband. Ayudo knew nothing of the debt, which now stands at €70,000, or the eviction until police arrived to remove her from the property a month ago.

    A local anti-eviction committee managed to win her a brief reprieve, during which she says she was terrified and unable to sleep. On Friday, seven police vans arrived for the eviction.

    Ayudo, who worked as a cleaner, said: “I’ve worked all my life, getting up at 6am to work like a slave and then all of a sudden they come to take everything away when all I want is to be left in peace.”

    “We’re not going to stand around and do nothing, we’re going to help this woman,” said Paco Jémez, the coach at Rayo, currently 13th in the Spanish first division. “Not just me but the technical team and the players. We’ll give her a hand to find a place where she can live in dignity and not feel abandoned.”

    Jémez added that he would like to help more people but it wasn’t possible. “In this case, because she’s from the neighbourhood, as a club we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help.”

    There were 67,000 evictions in Spain in 2013 while an estimated 3.4m properties stand empty.
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