“Green or blue? Today, Bruges only turns black”: Supporters unite in mourning over Miguel Van Damme (28) | Bruges

Bruges / ZerkegemThe miracle that everyone in Cercle Brugge had hoped for did not materialize. Tuesday, March 29, has become the day that everyone at Green-Black had feared. During the day, followers laid flowers for their number 16, the number that will be his forever. And that everyone in Bruges has boundless respect for Miguel Van Damme (28), proved the Club’s neighbors. “Everyone is affected by this,” says blue-black fan Kris Vanpoucke as he lights a candle on the Cercle.

Most days are green and black at Cercle Brugge. But Tuesday was only black. In the morning, it was announced that goalkeeper Miguel Van Damme (28) had died during Monday night. Not entirely unexpected, but no less shocking for that. The whole association was outraged. And they were not alone.

It was not long before the messages of support poured in from all sides. The whole country reacted with dismay at the death of the sympathetic 20-year-old. And it was striking that club colors do not count at such a time. Almost all Belgian clubs expressed their condolences. And supporters also let their sporting preferences lie.


I even lost two women at a far too young age, so I know all too well how they feel there now

Kris Vanpoucke (51), supporter of Club Brugge

Kris Vanpoucke (51) has seen Club Brugge for 35 years, but put down a candle on Tuesday night as a memorial. “Initially for him and his family,” Kris says. “And secondly for my Cercle friends. I notice that they are very excited. And so was I when I heard the news. It is not because I support Club Brugge and he played for Cercle that such a thing I’m losing two women myself at a very young age, so I know all too well how they are doing right now. ”

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Both the Club and Cercles flags are flown at half-staff. And both Club and Cercle supporters are laying flowers after Miguel Van Damme’s death. © Benny Proot

And if they were feeling bad. The players seeped in like every morning. The shoulders are not proudly erect today, but the head in the greenhouse. The morning training continued as usual. CEO Ben Lambrecht addressed the group of players in advance. They kept a minute of silence at first, and it was visibly heavy. Several players grabbed each other and sought support from each other. “Miguel would have liked us to train,” Lambrecht says. “But we canceled the afternoon training anyway. In that way, we will give everyone the opportunity to process this in their own way. ”

“Always one of the first to greet us”

Something that Cercle supporters also needed. Almost the first on Tuesday morning’s deal: Steve Huyghe, 46, a loyal fan all his life. He came to lay a text and the very first flowers. “I wanted to do something when I heard the news,” the man says. “So I just came here. I did not know Miguel personally. But my sympathy for him has always been great. For example, he was always one of the first to greet the supporters after a match.”

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Steve Huyghe was the first to lay flowers and a scarf.
Steve Huyghe was the first to lay flowers and a scarf. © Florian Van Eenoo Photo News

Grief register opened

Meanwhile, many employees have done everything to decorate a mourning corner. There was also a funeral register. The players were the first to sign after their training. Good friends like Thibo Somers were obviously emotionally charged when they did. “The guys visited Miguel last week,” said Jimmy De Wulf, assistant coach at Cercle Brugge. ‘And they are now very grateful for that. Miguel was a great warrior and we will remember him that way. He always believed in himself. ”

The latter also confirmed spokesman Louis-Philippe Depondt early in the morning. With a clear nod in his voice: “He just never gave up. He actually made us hope for a miracle. So much so that we eventually began to believe it. Unfortunately, no miracle happened. “

Cercle Brugge opened a mourning register.
Cercle Brugge opened a mourning register. © BELGA

The players were the first to sign the mourning register.
The players first signed the mourning register. © Florian Van Eenoo Photo News

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