Before Sunday’s match against CF Montreal, the New England Revolution took time to honor a club legend in Paul Mariner.
The former New England assistant coach and commentator recently passed away after a battle with brain cancer at the age of 68.
As fans entered the stadium they heard a playlist of Mariner’s favorite tunes and Steve Ralston, Andy Dorman, Marshall Leonard, and Doug Warren were in attendance.
As the players made their way onto the field, they made their way to the center of the pitch and stood arm in arm. Soon after in “The Fort,” a TIFO that was created by supporters was raised. Then there was a moment of applause to celebrate Mariner’s life.
In New England’s first game after Mariner’s passing, the squad wore black armbands to honor the man that so many loved. Knighton said that he was the first coach to teach him how to be a professional and that the two became close friends.
After the game against Montreal, Brad Knighton was asked about the tribute and he said it’s something that he will never forget.
Knighton said, “Anytime we start talking about Paul [Mariner], I get a little choked up. What they did — the club – for Paul was something special and something I’ll always remember. I’m sure his family will see it and think it’ll be an unbelievable tribute to Paul and the life that he lived.”
Watching from the press box, hearing the roars of applause was a beautiful sight. It might have been the only time that some media members clapped while in the box but if anyone was worth it was Paul.
I won’t claim to know Mariner because unfortunately I never was able to meet him. Still, through tributes on Revolution Recap, Revs Confidential, and here by our very own Jake Catanese, you can see the joy that he brought to people’s lives.
The tribute on Sunday will likely be a moment that everyone who was present remembers for the rest of their lives.