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By ESPN Staff

Miki Roque dies at 23

Real Betis defender Miki Roque has died at the age of 23 following a fight against cancer, the Spanish club have confirmed.

Roque, who came through the youth ranks at Liverpool before returning to his homeland with Betis, underwent surgery to remove a tumour in his pelvis last year.

A statement on Betis' official website read: "The Real Betis player Miquel Roque Farrero, Miki Roque, had died today at the Instituto Dexeus de Barcelona hospital at the age of 23.

"Miki Roque had been battling pelvic cancer since March 2011, a struggle that he fought with fortitude and determination. Real Betis send their deepest condolences to the Roque family.''

Roque spent four years at Liverpool between 2005 and 2009 and helped the club win the 2006 FA Youth Cup. He made one substitute appearance for the first team, against Galatasaray in a Champions League match in December 2006.

While at Anfield Roque had loan spells with Oldham and Spanish sides Xerez and Cartagena before moving permanently to Betis in 2009, making his senior debut with the Spanish club in October 2010.

A Liverpool statement read: "Liverpool Football Club was today saddened to hear news that former player Miki Roque has lost his battle with cancer aged 23. Everyone at Liverpool Football Club would like to send their thoughts to Miki's family at this sad time.''

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