Today, April 26, ATO veterans, volunteers, footballers and musicians are playing soccer at Metalist stadium to commemorate Danylo Didik on the eve of his birthday.
Danylo was only 15 when he was killed as a result of the terrorist bombing in Kharkiv, February 2015, together with three more victims. He was taking part in the patriotic march to protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Tomorrow the boy would have been 19.
Four teams will play two matches each in semi-finals and finals between 3 – 6 p.m. The team members are athletes of the all-Ukrainian program “The Power of the Nation,” Kharkiv musicians Fozzy and Borys Sevastyanov, Papa Carlo band and the legendary footballers of the Kharkiv FC Metalist Oleksandr Horyainov and Volodymyr Lynke.
The participants say that the professional footballers of fabulous Metalist will definitely win. However, the tournament is not about the results but to remember the young boy who became a symbol of a new young patriotic generation of Ukraine.
The boy’s father Andriy Didik says, “Danya loved playing football. And he was not only a fan, but he had extensive training at the Children and Youth Football Academy Metalist for several years. He would have enjoyed this match!”
The first soccer match to commemorate Danylo Didik was played by his friends on his birthday on April 27, 2015, two months after his death. Today the organizers believe the fan soccer tournament could launch a continuing tradition of honoring the young Hero and also create “a bridge between generations” with a passion for soccer.
Reference: The initiative was introduced by “Vidkryvayuchi Sertse” (Ukrainian: “Opening Heart”) charitable foundation and Danylo Didik’s friends as well as veterans of the FC Metalist 1925.
Text: Olena Sokolynska