bundesliga

The story of Eintracht Frankfurt's No1 fan Helmut 'Sonny' Sonneberg

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One of Eintracht Frankfurt's most famous fans, 90-year-old Helmut 'Sonny' Sonneberg, will be looking forward to seeing his heroes in action against Bayern Munich this weekend, although he has a heroic story of his own to tell.

The mere fact he is still here to tell the tale is a miracle in itself, with the son of Jewish parents surviving being deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp in the former Czechoslovakia as the Second World War drew to a close.

At the age of 14, and deprived of much of a normal childhood, Helmut returned to Frankfurt, where he fell in love with football and Eintracht. He got involved himself, playing for Eintracht's youth teams and making it as far as into their second team, but when he was not kicking a ball himself, he was on the terraces at the Waldstadion to urge his heroes on.

He got the bug to such an extent that he would follow Frankfurt around the country, and he was in Berlin when the Eagles clinched their first and hitherto only league title in 1959. To make ends meet, Helmut drove a mobile library around the local towns and villages, up until his retirement, which left him with even more free time to follow Frankfurt's fortunes.

Over the many years following Eintracht, Helmut has accumulated anecdotes and stories which he is more than happy to recount, presenting his memories during events at the club museum. Although he is more reluctant to speak of his childhood, Helmut's eyes light up when the subject turns to Eintracht, and the smile gets even broader when the Eagles win.

This Saturday, he will be back in his habitual place at Deutsche Bank Park to see his heroes in action, and to take even more memories away with him, with his black and white limited edition lifelong Eintracht member's scarf draped around his shoulders, and a grin from ear to ear.