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Teammates enlist local artist to give Blas Perez unexpected surprise

17 September 4:08 pm

Teammates enlist local artist to give Blas Perez unexpected surprise

Texas-based artist Brian Broadway brought his family out to FC Dallas’ training session last Thursday to present Panamanian striker Blas Pérez with his rendition of Perez’s father Blas “Toro” Pérez (right). FC Dallas captain Ugo Ihemelu enlisted Broadway to create the painting after Toro Perez passed away earlier this year. Broadway arrived midway through the training session and unveiled the painting for Perez as he walked off the pitch.

“I remember Ugo asking me for a picture of my father a few weeks ago, but I didn’t know why he wanted it,” Perez said through a translator after receiving the painting. “This is a wonderful surprise.”

Perez was back at training for the first time since scoring a goal in Panama’s 2-0 victory over Canada in 2014 World Cup Qualifying at Estadio Rommel Fernandez Stadium in Panama City, Panama, last Tuesday night.

To thank Broadway for his work, Blas gave the up-and-coming artist his jersey from Panama's win.

“I had no idea he was going to do that,” said Broadway. “At first, I thought it was an FC Dallas jersey. Then when he held it up to sign it I saw it was the jersey he wore for Panama. It really was overwhelming. I can’t say the word ‘honored’ enough. I made the painting just to honor Blas and his father. My family and I have watched him ever since he joined FC Dallas. We’re big fans and I knew he was going through a tough time. Losing your father is as bad as it gets. I’m just glad people appreciate what I am doing on that level.”

In addition to Perez’s painting, Broadway presented FC Dallas with an image of Bobby Rhine (above, left), which is to be donated to the University of Connecticut during an awards ceremony on Friday, Sept. 21.