A great story played out in Germany on Sunday.
Last February, Union Berlin were hailed throughout the world after awarding 34-year-old midfielder Benjamin Köhler a new contract.
Köhler had just been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma of the stomach.
The attacking midfielder had spent much of his playing career at Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga and only joined Union Berlin in 2013.
When Köhler was diagnosed with cancer, he told the German media: “It’s a massive blow for my family and I. First I’ve got to process it, but then I’m going to fight it with everything I’ve got. We’ll be seeing each other again for sure.”
On Sunday, Köhler made his playing return in a Union Berlin friendly match against Borussia Dortmund. This encounter was scheduled to mark their 50th anniversary.
Union Berlin do not return to Bundesliga II action until the start of February.
A bumper crowd of 22,000 turned up for Union Berlin and Köhler but Dortmund played none of their star players, who had won 3-1 in the Bundesliga at Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturdat.
The Bundesliga giants still ran out 3-1 winners.
Union Berlin’s 50th anniversary celebrations came to a climax late on in the match when Köhler was brought on as he resumes his career after cancer.
See Köhler’s reception as he returned to playing again below.
Union Berlin also put together a spectacular choreographed show for their 50th anniversary, on the second video below.
— 1. FC Union Berlin (@fcunion) January 24, 2016