Naming rights for football stadia have become something of a soulless thing in recent years.
Arsenal’s Highbury was replaced by the Emirates Stadium, Manchester City’s Maine Road was replaced by the Etihad, and Newcastle United’s St James’ Park had a brief flirtation with Sports Direct…
But one club in Germany – SV Darmstadt 98 – has shown heart and soul in naming its stadium for one season after one of its great fans.
Jonathan Heimes died of cancer in March 2016, and after technology company Merck gave up its naming rights, the stadium became the Jonathan-Heimes-Stadion am Bollenfalltor in Heimes’ honour.
Once again, the Bundesliga has led the way in class.