The 2nd anniversary of the late Yoo Sang-chul, an ‘eternal hero’, will never be forgotten

June 7, 2021. The engine of Korean soccer stalled. The late Incheon United coach emeritus Yoo Sang-cheol, who always overcame adversity, was remembered for the second time.

On June 7, the second anniversary of Yoo’s death, Incheon took on FC Seoul at the Incheon Football Stadium, where he last coached. It’s the halfway point of the season, and there’s a lot of battling to move up the standings. Incheon needed to extend their unbeaten streak to five games, while Seoul needed to win to close the gap at the top.

But players and fans alike have not forgotten Yoo’s second anniversary. After Incheon’s special national ceremony to mark the occasion, Yoo’s image flashed on the scoreboard. The black-and-white photo was accompanied by the words “Forever with YOO,” and everyone in the stadium stood in a moment of silence in remembrance.

It didn’t matter who you supported. Six minutes after kickoff, the supporters of both teams, who had been chanting fiercely in the stands, were the first to fall silent. A minute’s applause, short or long, filled the stadium in honor of Yoo Sang-cheol as his number 6 was worn.

“Honorary coach Yoo Sang-chul, we will never forget you,” a voice from the field said, and the applause became even more intense. It’s been two years since Yoo’s departure, but his dedication to the game, regardless of position, was evident throughout the stadium.스포츠토토

Yoo was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in November 2019 while coaching Incheon. Even as his health deteriorated, he showed a sense of responsibility by staying on the bench and keeping Incheon in the K League 1. Yoo, who said he would return to Incheon in good health, sadly passed away 19 months later.

In Yoo’s second season, Incheon refused to lose. Before the game, head coach Cho Sung-hwan said, “This game is on the anniversary of Coach Yoo’s death. The players will be motivated and we need to play a game that can comfort the fans.” Cho’s call came true, as Incheon drew 1-1 with Seoul thanks to an early goal from Gerso.

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