May 17, 2004
Jesus Gil y Gil, the flamboyant, tough-talking former Atletico de Madrid soccer club owner who changed coaches at a rapid rate during his turbulent tenure, died after suffering a severe stroke at his home in the Toledo province, south of Madrid, on Friday, May 14, 2004. He was 71. After taking over as Atletico's president in 1987, Gil went through coaches more frequently than the New York Yankees' George Steinbrenner, changing 19 times in his first eight years. He went through 23 coaches in all. Atletico won the Spanish League just once during his tenure, in 1996, when it also won the Spanish King's Cup. Gil was mayor of Marbella from 1991-2002 and ran a pro-business party named after himself, but he also went to jail twice: Once for 18 months in 1969 following the death of 58 people in the collapse of property his company had constructed, and again in 2002 after being accused of misusing funds.