Free beers, a band that is happy vrijdagsongs played, atmospheric lights... The city of Lommel was not in the receipt of its great hero of the people. Around 400 people lined up at the start. Some small Lommelaars called their sample on the stage. That happened on the show - how could it be otherwise - ‘You'll never walk alone’. “A Golden Shoe, we have in Lommel never had, so we are happy that you've gotten this far," said mayor Bob de Nijs (CD&V). “It's nice that they are here, so to me be surprised”, replied a visibly emotional Hans Vanaken. He received from the local horse-generation of the future, questions like: “Is Sam jealous of your Golden Shoe?” Hans answered everything with a smile.
Jos Monten (72) the former neighbor of Hans, brought back memories. “I can still see him so to me, talk to the little square at the Septakkers. Hans, his brother Sam (a football player in Thes Sport) and father Vital (ex-football player at o.a. KV Mechelen) were actually always with the ball doing. All day long I heard them play”, smiled Jos. “Sometimes they were ‘muurke shot to play, then again they were on target to kick. You noticed then already that Hans was a boy with many abilities: the talent dripped off. He makes football so simple, but most of all he enjoys the game.”Kwajongensstreken
Hans Vanaken is a polite voorbeeldprof, but Jos reminds him of some kwajongensstreken in his youth. “They were with the buurtjongens not shy to be a joke. One of their classics was the laying of a wallet on the sidewalk. Cyclists then passed by, and the wallet wanted to pick it up, they are good. Not seldom happened that she eventually joined us in the court came to hide when someone is not able to laugh”, continues Jos merrily. Vanaken was, ultimately, the youth of Lommel to PSV, but then returned back to Lommel. Through the city of Lokeren, he went finally to Club Brugge and the rest is history. Jos moved in the meantime from the Septakkers to the city center.
The Golden Shoe was his old neighbor never lost sight of. “When he took this summer married, we were of course invited. And when he would join the Smartest Man in the World (which is not passed through by a selection of the Red Devils), we were all ready in the studio. When I go to a training session of Club Brugge go look, then he still say something. The love is actually mutual. I follow him where he goes. From PSV to Lokeren and Brugge. He was already mentioned a couple of times for Dortmund, that would be for me the ideal next step, Jos. “I am truly honored that I next to the best footballer of the country should grow up. That is a privilege! Today I am euphoric in everything he experiences. I am glad that Lommel him honors, and I am sure that he also greatly appreciates. He has family and friends. Even though he now lives in Duinbergen, Knokke-Heist, on the inside he is still a Lommelaar. Without attitude is optional or vedetteallures, actually he is still the boy of the square, like at a ball game and that just great.”