German bundesliga names stadia over dead fan

German Bundesliga side SV Darmstadt 98 have renamed their stadium in memory of a supporter who died in March.

Jonathan Heimes raised hundreds of thousands of euros for charity before he died from cancer at the age of 26.

In his honour, the Merck-Stadion am Boellenfalltor will be known as the Jonathan-Heimes Stadion am Boellenfalltor for the duration of the 2016-17 season.

“Everyone who identifies with us identifies with Jonathan,” said club captain Aytac Sulu.

Darmstadt, who played in the third division of German football until 2014, finished 14th in the Bundesliga last season, following back-to-back promotions.

“Jonathan was a strong companion of Darmstadt success,” said club president Rudiger Fritsch. “In spite of his illness, Jonathan has repeatedly given the team a lot of energy.”

Heimes’ father Martin said the club and its sponsors had made a “great gesture”.

SV Darmstadt’s first game at their newly named stadium is Saturday’s Bundesliga meeting with Eintracht Frankfurt.

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