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Dirty Tackle

Terminally ill Feyenoord fan given overwhelming tribute at club’s first training session of the season

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

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A 54-year-old terminally ill Feyenoord fan known as "Rooie Marck" (Red Mark) knew he didn't have much time left. His last wish was to attend his beloved club's first training session of the new season, held at Feyenoord's stadium, De Kuip. Arrangements were made so that Marck, his family and his friends could watch the training session from right beside the pitch, but what awaited Marck was more than he could've imagined.

Weakened by his illness, Marck was brought in on a stretcher and set up so he was facing all of the fans and ultras sitting at one end of the ground. While his friends drank, Marck smoked a cigarette and smiled as the fans lit flares en masse. When the team came out to train, Marck stood up from his bed and applauded them and when they jogged past him, they applauded right back.

Then the focus turned to Marck himself. The other fans unveiled a giant banner depicting Marck and serenaded him with a rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone." As Marck cried from this remarkable show of affection, his friends embraced him.

He then stood up again and with the help of his friends, he carefully made his way first to the players who each shook his hand and presented him with a shirt. He said a few words to them and then he moved on to the fans. They cheered him again as he approached. Under his own power, he saluted them and sang along with them, before taking a bow and striking the pose picture above under his banner.

Three days later, Marck passed away, having gotten a wonderful, heart-felt send-off from the friends and strangers he so deeply cared about.

Pictures from Marck's equally impressive funeral procession can be seen here.

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