A story that once again proves what a uniting force sports can be!
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Over the past few weeks, thanks to the World Cup, soccer has very much been in the news. We’ve had stories of coaches leaning on their faith, and players happily sharing their faith. Yet, once the tournament is over, the world of soccer will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of many.
In a recent post on social media, the story of a loving elderly couple, united in sport, was shared. Just one photo evoked so many emotions: the joy of marriage and growing old together, of celebration, and of kindness.
In the photo, we can see the the couple in their element as they watch their favorite Turkish team, Fenerbahce from Istanbul. In the comments people were quick to talk about the sadness in the woman’s eyes as she attended the match after her husband had passed away, and a nephew of the couple Gulin Aksencer explained a little more about how the pair ended up watching matches together:
“The best part about their story is how they attended all games together. When they first got married, she didn’t want him going to the games because she was afraid he would lie about going to the game and cheat on her. But he had nothing to hide, so he decided he would bring her with him to all the games, despite all social convention at the time. They attended every game together. He decided to share his love of the game and love of the club with her instead of belittling her or simply saying ‘I’m a man, I go to football games,’ and leaving it at that. Instead they became a staple of the stadium and a fan favorite as a couple.”
He went on to share how the cardboard cut-out came about after the wife also died:
“Then in 2020 when the pandemic happened and the games were being played without an in-stadium audience, the club started a campaign where you could pay to have a cut out of yourself placed in the seats and see the cutout on TV. A bunch of fans got together and paid for this cute couple’s cutout to be placed in memory of them.”
Many people commented on how it was a beautiful tribute to the couple, with some also saying that the pair would now be watching the game from heaven! But many commented on the physical change in the wife with her husband no longer by her side before she passed away.
But perhaps the best takeaway from the photo, however, is a reminder us how important it is for couples to invite each other to share in each other’s interests. You never know, it may prove a lifelong passion!