Héctor Castro

Héctor Castro
Personal information
Date of birth (1904-11-29)29 November 1904
Place of birth Montevideo, Uruguay
Date of death 15 September 1960(1960-09-15) (aged 55)
Place of death Montevideo, Uruguay
Playing position Attacker
Youth career
1921–1924 Athletic Club Lito
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1923–1932 Nacional
1932–1933 Estudiantes
1933–1936 Nacional 231[1] (145[1])
National team
1923–1935 Uruguay 25 (18)
Teams managed
1939–1943 Nacional
1952 Nacional
1959 Uruguay

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Héctor Castro (29 November 1904 – 15 September 1960) was a Uruguayan football player and coach.

Early life

Castro was born in Montevideo. When he was 13, he accidentally amputated his right-forearm while using an electric saw, which gave origin to his nickname, El manco (meaning "the one-armed", or "the maimed").[2]

Playing career

Club career

Castro began his career in 1923/24 with Nacional and was the first player to score in a World Cup game for Uruguay. At Nacional he won three Uruguayan Championships (1924, 1933, 1934), before retiring in 1936.

1933 Uruguayan Championship

In the 1933 Uruguayan Championship, Peñarol player Braulio Castro scored a controversial goal in the championship match where the ball clearly went out of play, but rebounded off a kinesiologist's medicine cabinet back into play in the build-up to the goal. This turned out to be the only goal of the game, and the opposition, Nacional, felt very hard done by, and three of their players were sent off, for assaulting the referee in annoyance at the goal. This meant that the referee, Telésforo Rodríguez, was unable to continue through injury, so one of the assistant referees, Luis Scandroglio, stepped in, and immediately abandoned the match due to bad light, after seventy minutes.[3]

Over two months later, on 30 July, the League Board decided to disallow the goal, and also rescinded one of the three aforementioned sendings-off (that of Ulises Chifflet). They also ruled that the final twenty minutes would be played at Estadio Centenario, but behind closed doors to try to avoid the same controversy which had plagued the original encounter. The match went ahead behind closed doors, and there were no goals in the twenty minutes. In a highly unorthodox move, two sessions of extra-time were played (the usual allowance would be a single session), the score remained goalless.[3] Nacional's fans remember this game as the "9 contra 11" ("9 against 11") since their team played the remaining 20 minutes plus both overtimes (totalling over 80 minutes) with nine players.

A second playoff, which consisted of a standard match, followed once again by two sessions of extra-time, was played on 2 September, but still the deadlock wasn't broken.[3]

A third playoff was contested on 18 November, and Héctor Castro played a vital role in this match, scoring a hat-trick which meant twice equalising as well as scoring the winning goal for Nacional, in a 3–2 win over Peñarol, which finally settled the Uruguayan Championship, almost six months after the controversial first playoff. This controversial playoff also meant that the Uruguayan Championship of 1933 was bizarrely not awarded until November 1934.[3]

International career

Castro made his debut for the Uruguay national football team in November 1923. He played his final match for la Celeste in August 1935 having played 25 times, scoring 18 goals.[4]

1928 Olympics

Playing for Uruguay at the 1928 Olympic Games Castro won a gold medal.[5]

1930 FIFA World Cup

Castro's goal in the World Cup Final helped Uruguay win the first FIFA World Cup in 1930.[5] He also scored the first ever goal at Estadio Centenario, against Perú in that tournament.

South American Championship

Castro played in South American Championship-winning teams in 1926 and 1935.

International goals

Uruguay's goal tally first

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 25 November 1923 Estadio Pocitos, Montevideo, Uruguay  Chile 1–0 2–1 Friendly
2. 8 December 1923 Estadio Racing Club, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Argentina 1–1 3–2 Copa Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores
3. 3–2
4. 17 October 1926 Estadio Sport de Ñuñoa, Santiago, Chile  Chile 2–0 3–1 1926 South American Championship
5. 24 October 1926 Estadio Sport de Ñuñoa, Santiago, Chile  Argentina 2–0 2–0
6. 1 November 1926 Estadio Sport de Ñuñoa, Santiago, Chile  Paraguay 1–0 6–1
7. 2–0
8. 3–0
9. 5–1
10. 1 November 1927 Estadio Nacional, Lima, Peru  Peru 4–0 4–0 1927 South American Championship
11. 6 November 1927 Estadio Nacional, Lima, Peru  Bolivia 6–0 9–0
12. 10 December 1927 Viña del Mar, Chile  Chile 2–2 3–2 Friendly
13. 3 June 1928 Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam, Netherlands  Germany 1–0 4–1 1928 Summer Olympics
14. 20 September 1929 Estadio Gran Parque Central, Montevideo, Uruguay  Argentina 1–0 2–1 1929 Copa Newton
15. 18 July 1930 Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay  Peru 1–0 1–0 1930 FIFA World Cup
16. 30 July 1930 Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay  Argentina 4–2 4–2 1930 FIFA World Cup Final
17. 13 January 1935 Estadio Nacional, Lima, Peru  Peru 1–0 1–0 1935 South American Championship
18. 27 January 1935 Estadio Nacional, Lima, Peru  Argentina 1–0 3–0

Coaching career

After retiring as a player, Castro worked as a football coach with Nacional. He won the Uruguayan championship in 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, and again in 1952.

Later life and death

Castro died in 1960 at the age of 55, from a heart attack.


As a Player

As a Coach

As an Assistant Coach

Castro was Assistant coach to William Reaside in 1939 but was Coach in the finals for that year's tournament. Therefore, he was Nacional's coach at all five years of the Quinquenio de Oro's closing games.


  1. 1 2 "Héctor Castro Biography". Retrieved on 30 July 2009.
  2. Peck, Sunil (7 June 2006). "Ouch Q&A: Héctor Castro 1930s disabled football star". Ouch!. BBC. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Uruguay 1933 Championship". RSSSF. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
  4. "Appearances for Uruguay National Team". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 26 January 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
  5. 1 2 "FIFA Player Statistics: Hector Castro". FIFA. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
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