A grand farewell for Francois Sterchele
Thousands attend the funeral of Club Brugge striker who was tragically killed in a car crash last week.13 May 2008
ALLEUR - Three to four thousand people turned up at the funeral for the Club Brugge striker, Francois Sterchele, in Alleur, near Liege, who died in a car crash last week.
Everyone wore white, heeding the request of Sterchele's mother.
Many football players attended the funeral. Sterchele's clubs, Club Brugge and Germinal Beerschot sent a delegation. Timmy Simons represented the Belgian national Team, the Red Devils.
Six of Sterchele's team-mates carried the casket into the church. The Club Brugge striker was cremated after the funeral.
"You'll never, never, never walk alone"
Chairman of Club Brugge, Michel D'Hooghe, held an emotional speech.
"It is so difficult to say goodbye to you, because it was so easy to love you."
Sterchele was 26 years old. He was killed when his Porsche veered off the road and crashed into a tree.
Sterchele was completing his first season at Club Brugge. Earlier he played for Charleroi and Germinal Beerschot.
Sterchele was 2007's top scorer in the Belgian First Division.
A talented football player
Sterchele first came to prominence in 2004.
Playing for fourth division, Kelmis, he was the season's top scorer in that division scoring 24 goals.
The following year, Sterchele helped OH Leuven reach the second division.
Charleroi coach Jacky Mathijssen recognised a winner. In 2005, he gave Sterchele his first break, but it was only the following season at Germinal Beerschot that he really came into its own.
Once again he became the top scorer making 21 goals.
Last summer, three clubs tried to sign the player on - Anderlecht, Standard de Liège and even Heerenveen of The Netherlands. He signed a five-year-contract with Club Brugge.
[flandersenews.be / Expatica]