Pele's daughter dies of cancer at 42

Updated: October 17, 2006, 1:20 PM ET

SAO PAULO, Oct 17 - Pele's daughter Sandra Regina Arantes do Nascimento, who won a long legal battle to have the former soccer player recognised as her father, died of cancer on Tuesday at the age of 42, a hospital spokesman said.

Nascimento, previously known as Sandra Regina Machado, was recognised as Pele's daughter in 1996 following a five-year court case when she also won the right to use his surname.

A spokesman for Pele, real name Edson Arantes do Nascimento, said he would not attend the funeral.

"He will send a wreath in the name of his family....he prefers to pray at home," the spokesman said.

In 1998, Nascimento published a book, "The Daughter the King Did Not Want", recounting the story of how her mother Anizia Machado, a maid, had a love affair with Pele while he was a young player with Santos.

Nascimento was in her second term as a city councillor in the port of Santos, where Pele spent 17 years of his playing career.

Pele had three children from his first marriage with Rosemary Cholbi and another two from his second marriage with Assiria Lemos.

Santos's official web site said that Pele also had another daughter, Flavia Kurts, out of wedlock.

Pele once said in an interview: "I was a normal youth and had many adventures."

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index