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    Spain's David Villa sends shirts to Chile miners


    by ODN


    Spanish soccer star David Villa, who comes from a mining family, sent two football shirts to the San Jose mine in northern Chile to show his support for workers trapped underground.

    Soccer is a solace for the miners, who have been trapped since a August 5 cave-in and face another two to four months in a tunnel some 2,300 ft underneath the Atacama desert.

    Among the 33 trapped is Franklin Lobos, a former professional football player who watched Chile play Ukraine in a friendly match after rescue workers wove a fibreoptic cable down a narrow bore hole.

    The shirts made their way to the remote mine in the hands of Cristina Cubero, the head of Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo.

    The shirts were singed by Villa, Spain's top goal-scorer on their way to a World Cup victory in South Africa, and one was handed over to Lobos' daughter, Carolina Lobos.

    The unlikely story of the miners, who survived on two mouthfuls of tuna and a glass of milk every 48 hours for over two weeks, has won them international attention.

    Rescue workers are drilling two wider bore holes into the mine where they can pull the men out. A third drill used for oil wells is on its way and officials hope it will speed the process and get the men out well before Christmas.