RAFC supporter Yves ran the Porto marathon in a Great Old shirt: “I did my job, now Antwerp” (Zandhoven)

RAFC supporter Yves ran the Porto marathon in a Great Old shirt: “I did my job, now Antwerp” (Zandhoven)
RAFC supporter Yves ran the Porto marathon in a Great Old shirt: “I did my job, now Antwerp” (Zandhoven)

Linking the Porto Marathon to Tuesday’s Champions League evening. Antwerp supporter and Zandhoven resident Yves Van Laer (37) took up the challenge and successfully completed the first part on Sunday – in a matching red-white shirt. “’Come on you Reds‘, I heard from the side. The support from fellow supporters was great!”

Talk about an incredible coincidence. On May 21, Van Laer registered with his friends Wim Conings and Sebastiaan Degeest for the Maratona do Porto on Sunday, November 5. “There was no question of the national title at that time,” says Van Laer. “The fact that Antwerp would then reach the Champions League, Porto would draw and, in the bargain, would come to play here two days after the marathon, is a sign that it was supposed to… ‘work out’ like this.” (laughs)

Van Laer has been supporting Stamnummer 1 for 25 years and is a member of Supporters Club Rood Wit Legioen. As befits an Antwerp fan through and through, he ran the marathon in a shirt of his favorite club. “I have been wearing this in all my marathons for three years (Porto was his fourth, after Amsterdam, San Sebastian and Athens, ed.). There’s something magical about the sweater, right? It gives me wings.”

“In addition, I had asked on Twitter whether the fans already present on the sidelines could cheer me on. With results. I have a number of times ‘Come on you Reds‘ heard. (laughs) It was great to feel the support not only from family and friends, but also from my fellow supporters.”

After five hours and nineteen minutes, Van Laer said he ‘stumbled’ across the finish line. “At kilometer 26 I was already experiencing cramps. I also play football at Zandhoven and showed up at the start with a muscle strain. The strong wind and the three downpours I had to go through made the race extra hard, but I made it. That time doesn’t interest me. My first priority was to put the medal around my neck.”

While Yves’ friends, Wim and Sebastiaan, set sail for Belgium again on Monday, his girlfriend Britt and his dad Werner – who has passed on the love for the Great Old from father to son – head to Porto. “I did my job in the marathon. Now it is up to Antwerp to achieve success on Tuesday. The manner in which, like my passage in the marathon, plays no role. (laughs) As long as we win!”

READ ALSO. GOOTS ANALYSIS. “If Antwerp can maintain this level against Porto and Standard, then I think they have left”


PREV Taiwan’s first brain bank opens in Taipei
NEXT More than 300 people cross the border from Gaza Strip to Egypt, including Belgian MSF employee