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.
A magnificent gesture from @sv98 to remember an inspirational fan. #JohnnyHeimesStadionamBÃ¶llenfalltor pic.twitter.com/YS6VkFf3Mo
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) September 5, 2016
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.