VfB Stuttgart captain Christian Gentner has bravely vowed to play on despite mourning the loss of his father, who passed away at Stuttgart’s stadium at the weekend.
The club issued a statement on Saturday evening to confirm that Herbert Gentner suffered a heart attack and subsequently passed away after watching his son play in a 2-1 win over Hertha Berlin at the Mercedes-Benz Arena that afternoon.
VfB Stuttgart mourns the passing of the father of team captain Christian Gentner, Herbert Gentner, who died at the stadium following VfB’s home game against Hertha Berlin.
The entire club offers its support and condolences to the Gentner family at this difficult time.
Messages of support and condolence soon poured in from around clubs and players in and around the Bundesliga.
While many assumed that Gentner would take a leave of absence in the wake of such horrendous news, the 33-year-old has instead confirmed that he intends to play the next two games, thus fulfilling Stuttgart’s pre-winter break schedule.
Stuttgart release a statement today stating that Christian Gentner has chosen to play in the club’s next two games.https://t.co/zQkmDE5Ce0
— DW Sports (@dw_sports) 17 December 2018
According to DW, Gentner trained on Monday and then joined the Stuttgart team to travel to Wolfsburg for their midweek match on Tuesday night.
VfB sports director Michael Reschke hailed the decision as worthy of “deep respect”:
In such a difficult situation, each person acts differently. It was clear to us from the start that we would have respected every decision made by Christian with regard to the matches at Wolfsburg and against Schalke.
It speaks in favour of his personal relationship with our club, and the extraordinary relationship of the Gentner family with VfB, that Christian will play in both games.
There’s not a soul on Earth who would have begrudged him as much time as he needed and Gentner chooses to persevere as he sees fit.