Spartak Moscow have given 102 year-old fan Otto Fisher more than $8,000 after his home was robbed by a man who claimed to be a social worker. The centennial Mr Fisher had invited the man inside, and when he went to fetch him a glass of water the unscrupulous thief made off with Otto’s life savings – more than 730,000 rubles, or $12,600 in cash.
Despite living more than 1,500km from Moscow, Fisher gained cult appeal after his appearance at a home game in March. When the club heard of his predicament the charity poured in: the players had a whip round, the club itself has pledged to donate a proportion of the next games ticket sales, as well as setting up an account whereby fans and the public can donate to Fisher’s cause.
It is great to see this coming from a nation and a footballing culture that rarely gets seen in a positive light. As Otto himself says, “it is better to see something once than to hear about it a hundred times”. Whilst he was referring to the joys of seeing Spartak play first-hand, these stories remind us that the human element behind the headlines is always there and capable of outshining negativity.