This tribute from Feyenoord fans after one player lost his mother is as touching as it is beautiful

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.


More in this Section

Frank Lampard adamant he can solve Chelsea’s defensive woesFrank Lampard adamant he can solve Chelsea’s defensive woes

James McClean questions Irish teammates' attitude to discriminationJames McClean questions Irish teammates' attitude to discrimination

We’ll put it right – Solskjaer backs United to bounce back from Saints setbackWe’ll put it right – Solskjaer backs United to bounce back from Saints setback

McClean questions Irish teammates' attitude to discriminationMcClean questions Irish teammates' attitude to discrimination


Lifestyle

The arrival of the new baby has led to a tricky family dynamic in the Cork-set show, writes Georgia HumphreysBaby's arrival leads to more adventures as the Young Offenders return

THIS week, a gap emerges between my wife and me, until Netflix saves the day.Learner Dad: A week in the sun wasn’t worth all the second-guessing about green lists

Young children need nutrient-rich food throughout the dayBitesize: Forget about snacks think about mini meals instead

A major new drama from David Simon of The Wire, and the concluding episode of I May Destroy You.Tuesday's TV highlights: The Plot Against America, classic soccer and more

More From The Irish Examiner