There isn’t much that U.K. soccer fans agree on, yet they still came together to pay their respects after a star player’s tragic loss.
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Last October, Portuguese professional footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and his partner, Georgina Rodriguez, announced that they were expecting twins. The couple share four young children and were excited to welcome a baby boy and girl. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be.
In April, Cristiano and Georgina announced that their infant son had not survived the birth. “It is the greatest pain that any parents can feel,” they wrote in a statement. As the family grieved, Cristiano’s team, Manchester United, announced that he would not be playing in the big match against Liverpool in the coming days.
In a touching act of unity, fans from both Manchester United and Liverpool came together during the game for a beautiful tribute. Cristiano’s jersey number is 7, so at exactly 7:00 on the game clock, fans from both sides of the field cheered, clapped, and payed their respects to Cristiano and Georgina. Then the crowd broke into a spontaneous round of “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
“You’ll Never Walk Alone” has been Liverpool Football Club’s anthem for the past 60 years. The words are etched into the gates outside Anfield Stadium, and fans often break into the song during games. That night, however, the song took on a deeper meaning as fans showed their love and empathy for a beloved player.
“When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
At the end of a storm
There’s a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark
Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone”
While he was not in attendance, it didn’t take long before news of the tribute got back to Cristiano. He shared a clip of the crowd singing and cheering at the 7-minute mark with the caption, “One world… One sport… One global family… Thanks, Anfield. Me and my family will never forget this moment of respect and compassion.”
The next day, Cristiano shared a photo of his family to let fans know they’re okay.
“Home sweet home,” he wrote. “Gio and our baby girl are finally together with us. We want to thank everyone for all the kind words and gestures. Your support is very important and we all felt the love and respect that you have for our family. Now it’s time to be grateful for the life that we’ve just welcomed into this world.”
It’s good to know that even die-hard sports fans can put aside their differences to honor a tragic loss like this one. We hope the Ronaldo family feels that love as they continue to work through their grief.
Share this story to wish them well and congratulate them for their baby girl.
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