Van der Sar visits hurt fan
Edwin van der Sar was amongst a group from football club Ajax visiting the family of a man who fell from the stands at the ArenA during a match earlier this week. The former Oranje and Ajax goalkeeper sat with the family at the hospital where the 46-year-old fan was admitted in critical condition, according to the team.
The man fell over the railing of the F-Side, a section reserved for ardent Ajax supporters. He dropped roughly five meters, landing on his head, during the 39th minute of the Champions League match with FC Barcelona on Tuesday.
Van der Sar, now the team's marketing director, joined Managing Director Michael Kinsbergen and finance director Jeroen Slop at Supportershome Thursday night to discuss the incident with anyone traumatically affected by the event. The team says about 50 people were in attendance at the hour-long meeting.
"There was ample opportunity for everyone to ask questions during the meeting," according to a statement on the team's website. A trauma specialist was on hand to offer support for those who had trouble dealing with what they saw, whether they were in the stands or viewed disturbing images of the scene.
Some photos circulating on Twitter showed the man lying facedown in a pool of blood, and also clearly showed his badly-damaged face.
"The paramedic on duty also told his story," in an effort to give more understanding of the incident.
Van der Sar's wife, Annemarie van Kesteren, has herself recovered from a cerebral hemorrhage. After collapsing on December 23, 2009, she was rushed to a hospital in the Netherlands, where she had been reportedly fighting for her life.
Although the team says all initial indications suggest the fall was accidental, police have not concluded their investigation.