Borussia Dortmund played Mainz today in Bundesliga action at Signal Iduna Park. And while Dortmund won 2-0, no one was that interested in the final score compared to what happened in the stands during the game.
Two Dortmund fans suffered heart attacks at the stadium during the game and one had died. The other, at this time, is in stable condition at a local hospital.
Es gibt Wichtigeres als Fußball. Mehr Infos, wenn wir sie haben. // There are more important things than football. More info to follow. #RIP
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) March 13, 2016
As news spread, the 81,000 seat stadium known for being one of the loudest stadiums in the world, fell silent throughout the rest of the game. As a sign of respect, visiting Mainz fans stated that they wouldn’t sing for the rest of the game. Celebrations for Shinji Kagawa’s insurance goal were subdued as fans paid respect to one of their own. After the game was over, Dortmund players lined up in front of the “yellow wall” of Dortmund fans and joined all 81,000 fans in singing You’ll Never Walk Alone.
If you ever want to be reminded of the best parts of soccer supporter culture, this is it. There is a sense of togetherness and being a part of a family when one is a fan and not much replicates that. When a fan passes away, everyone feels it and that transcends team affiliation. It’s a reminder that while all soccer fans have their own team allegiances, some things are more important than that and cause people to stand together to honor the recently departed.