When Tonny Vilhela’s mother Jeanette passed away at the end of October, he will probably have been hoping for as much support as he can get – but he can never have expected what his fans had in store for him.
The 21-year-old’s team faced Zwolle in the Dutch Eredivisie on Sunday, in their first home game since his mother’s death. So, with the aid of some sparklers, the Feyenoord fans decided to give Vilhela a pretty spectacular bit of recognition before the match started.
With sparklers lit and in hand, the fans sung Gerry and the Pacemakers’ classic You’ll Never Walk Alone in tribute to the young Dutchman.
This other angle gives some perspective to the spectacular sight of the stadium as a sea of little lights.
The tribute must have given some heart to Feyenoord too, as they won the game 3-0.
There were goals for former Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt, Karim El Ahmadi formerly of Aston Villa and Jens Toornstra, but sadly none for Vilhela. We think he’ll still be pretty happy with how the day went though.
Vilhena’s mother died after a long fight with illness and this was not the first support Feyenoord fans have shown since she passed away. In a match away to Go Ahead Eagles, when Vilhena was unavailable to play, supporters sang songs and waved banners in the 52nd minute, to mark Jeanette’s age.