One of the survivors of the 1972 Andes plane crash will be playing rugby in Birmingham on Saturday September 26.
Antonio ‘Tintin’ Vizintin was travelling with the Old Christians rugby team from Uruguay to a match in Chile when the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashed in the mountains in October 1972.
It was two months before the 16 survivors during which they had to resort to eating the flesh of those who had died to survive. Their harrowing story was re-told in the film ‘Alive’.
Vizintin, a 19 year-old student in 1972, remains closely involved in rugby and he will be in Birmingham as a member of the Anjeos,a touring invitation team, who are following the Uruguayan national team during the Rugby World Cup.
Uruguay will play Australia at Villa Park on Sunday September 27 and ahead of the match Anejos will play Harborne and Harborne Heat in a Touch Rugby Festival at Harborne Cricket Club.
The event, which forms part of the nationwide Festival of Rugby, will be played in memory of Marcelo ‘Panda’ Pandolfi, a respected Anejos player who passed away recently.
Organisers are hopeful that another of the air crash survivors, Nando Parrado, will also be able to attend the event along with Gustavo Zerbino, uncle of Uruguay lock Jorge Zerbino, will also be at Harborne.
Anejos draw their players from a number of clubs including Trouville, MVCC , the Crows , PSG , Clover de Paysandú , Lobos Punta del Este, Champagnat and Old Christians. Their current captain is Ruben Marteau and their President Evaristo Gonzalez.
Their players are aged between 40 and 75 with their most senior player, Luis Infantino, being the oldest registered player in South America.