Emotions were high inside Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico, Sunday night (December 12) as fans mourned beloved singer Vicente Fernández prior to a soccer match between Atlas F.C. and Club León.
The night sky sparkled with a fireworks presentation as players stood on the field in honor of Fernández, who had died that morning at the age of 81. During the pre-match ceremony, a young boy stepped onto the field carrying a single white balloon as the crowd roared in remembrance of their countryman.
This celebration didn’t call for any moments of silence. Instead, the packed stadium, with fans from both teams, gave Fernández a standing ovation as his image was displayed on the screen of the venue. “Don Vicente Fernández – 1940 – 2021,” it read.
A massive Mexican flag was prominently on display on the field, too, as fans chanted and cheered for “El Rey de la Música Ranchera,” who was inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame in 1998 and the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 2002. Fernández also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in his honor.
The young boy who had taken the field moments before then released the white balloon from his hand and it floated away. Fernández’s rendition of “Volver Volver,” which he popularized in 1978, then started playing, and everyone sang along. Many fans took photos and videos of the event. Others cried.
It was a moving tribute to a man who meant so much to an entire country and to people throughout Latin America.