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The recognition of an entire life as a supporter

Athletic Club de Bilbao know how to treat their fans. When their supporter Marcos Torres turned 90 years old, they gave him a very special present.

‘Can you help me to make my grandfather’s dream come true? You only have to RT and mention @AthleticClub.’ With this tweet, Gemma Torres started to prepare an unforgettable birthday present for her grandfather Marcos. She attached screenshots of a text that told the story behind it:

“Dreams know no age. I write this aiming that a really special person sees his biggest dream come true, and I hope that you can help me. My grandfather Marcos was born almost 90 years ago in the province of Toledo and I would say that from the very first day he was in love with Athletic Club. At the age of 17 he became a supporter and since then, with this member card, he travelled all over Spain to watch his beloved team play. There was not a game that he failed to attend, a player that he did not know nor an anecdote that he missed. This lasted until my grandmother’s death.

When the new San Mamés Stadium was inaugurated, we decided to take him there so that he could enjoy again the same happiness he had had during all those years. You cannot imagine how his eyes shined that day, at that ground. He enjoyed his Athletic as he had always done and he showed to his family how supporting a club was not just a feeling, but an approach to life.

On October 25th it will be his birthday. We want to make him an special present and, if health helps, we would like to take him back to enjoy with his people, at his home, San Mamés. It would be beautiful if he could get to know the players. We know that it is complicated, but it would be really special for all the family. It would be really emotional to see the recognition of an entire life as a supporter. If it was not possible, a video of the players saying ‘happy birthday’ would also made him the happiest man in the universe.

Could you help us to reach Athletic?”

Gemma’s message received an incredible response. The request rapidly spread all over the Spanish Twitter, with everyone really wanting to help her grandfather. The tweet reached over 25K retweets. Gemma soon thanked everyone and also announced great news:

“Hello all, I want to thank you for sharing my message and for the affection you have showed to my grandfather and his passion. I want to let you know that Athletic have already contacted us and that they are arranging something for my grandfather. Thank you very much for your support, you are amazing!”

However, the day arrived and Gemma’s Twitter feed had no updates on Athletic’s present to her grandfather. She uploaded a photo with him, and that was it. Some people complained to the club that they had forgotten.

Fortunately, the story was not over: three days later, Gemma would tweet photos and videos of the birthday celebration. They had printed a banner that read ‘90 years being a Lion’ (Athletic are nicknamed The Lions) and the cake with the club’s badge. Then it was time to show the present that Athletic Club had made him: Marcos had received a shirt signed by the whole squad as well as a video in which the players sang ‘happy birthday,’ adding that they look forward to meeting him in San Mamés. Gemma says that they plan to make a trip to the stadium in March.

The face of 90-year-old Athletic fan Marcos was the face of happiness. He, next to his granddaughter, thanked the club and all those who had helped to make this great birthday celebration come true.

Photo: @_GemmaTorres_