Europe

Spanish drum: Legendary fan Manolo's stolen instrument found

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Media captionThe drum is handed in at a navy building before being transferred to police

The Spanish authorities say they have found legendary football fan Manolo Artesero's drum after it was stolen from his car on Wednesday, sparking outrage among fellow supporters.

Nicknamed "Manolo El del Bombo" (Manolo, he of the drum) - Mr Artesero has for decades been a familiar sight and sound at national team matches.

The theft took place in the town of Murcia ahead of a friendly match against Colombia.

It left him "devastated", he said.

"There are a lot of memories, I've had it for years," the 68-year-old told Spanish media.

"We've been around the world, a lifetime spent following Spain."

Image copyright Armada Española
Image caption The drum was handed in at a naval building

But just a day later, the Spanish navy and police both tweeted to say the drum had been recovered.

"Dear Manolo, the navy has recovered your drum and we want it once again to be heard supporting the national team," the navy tweeted alongside a video appearing to show a member of the public handing it in.

The navy then handed it over to the police, who tweeted that the drum had been found thanks to help from the public.

Image copyright Twitter/@Armada_esp
Image caption "Dear Manolo, the navy has recovered your drum and we want it once again to be heard supporting the national team"

Mr Artesero attends national team matches all over the world and always wears a team shirt and a big hat. He was at the Colombia match after undergoing a heart operation, El Periódico newspaper reported.

Fellow football fans had demanded the drum's return on social media.

Mr Artesero is also a fan of Valencia football club in Spain's La Liga and runs a bar next to the team's Mestalla stadium.

He began taking a drum to football matches nearly 50 years ago and started following the national team in 1979, he told football newspaper Marca in an interview last year.

"The Spanish national team is my life," he said.

He said he would only hang up the drum if doctors told him to for the sake of his health and said he was considering launching a mobile app that would enable fellow fans to take the drum to matches.

"What I would like is the fan-feeling and passion that I have carried with my drum all these years carries on," he told the newspaper.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Mr Artesero and his drum at the 2008 European Championship in Germany

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