Tuesday 16 January 2024, 15:00

Colón fan from the cradle with a memory to last a lifetime

  • Daniel Iñiguez was captured on camera feeding his two-month-old son at half-time of a La Liga match in Argentina

  • The moment earned him the FIFA Fan Award at The Best FIFA Football Awards™ in London

  • “[Club Atlético] Colón is the team I have loved since I was little, and I am now able to instil this in my son and daughter"

The image was shown on television and quickly went viral: a Colón de Santa Fe supporter, during half-time of an Argentine professional league match, feeding his young baby with a bottle in the stands.

Daniel Iñiguez never imagined on 21 May 2023 that feeding his 51-day-old son at the home of his beloved club would earn him global recognition in the form of The FIFA Fan Award, which honours gestures fellow supporters around the world can identify with, expressing a special form of commitment and passion for their team or football in general.

The FIFA Fan Award: Hugo Daniel “Toto” Iniguez

“I am so excited. I have no words. This is the beautiful thing about football: the sport I love and I’m very passionate about. [Club Atlético] Colón is the team I have loved since I was little” said Iñiguez.

“Kisses to both of you [his partner Fernanda and son Tiziano who joined him at the show], Milena and Delfina, and my entire family. It’s amazing to be able to instill this in Tiziano. My dad did that with me, and I’m doing it with my own children. This is a tradition. It’s family, and Colón is its people”.

Better known as Toto among his family and friends, Iñiguez - who is also the father of Milena (13) and Delfina (10) - has always been a ‘Sabalero’ supporter. He and his wife decided to take their son to his first match after first checking the weather.

During the1-1 draw against Barracas Central, Fernanda had been holding Tiziano in her arms throughout the first half, only passing the baby to Daniel at half-time, because she was tired. She was also the first to find out about the FIFA Fan Award nomination on 14 September, as Daniel had taken his phone to be fixed, when the news quickly spread through Santa Fe.

Hours later, ahead of a match against Rosario Central in the Copa de la Liga, the Iñiguez family were honoured by the club on the pitch. Facundo Garcés, the captain of the team, presented Daniel with a club shirt and told him: “You have to be at the awards ceremony with this one!"

The days that followed the announcement were a whirlwind, both because of the media coverage, and due to the comments from his colleagues at the Santa Fe Fruit and Vegetable Producers and Suppliers Market.

Whilst it was a family from Argentina who shone brightly on the stage in London, Daniel was quick to share his success when first nominated, telling media across his country: “This time it was my turn with Tiziano, but we represent all football fans. Those of Colón, but also those of Unión - their classic rival - those of River, those of Boca. All those who take their families, their sons and daughters to the stadium."

Daniel’s fellow final nominees were Fran Hurndall, and a young Colombian fan of Millonarios. Fran Hurndall’s love affair with football took her on a challenging journey as she set out to dribble a ball 1000km between the Gold Coast and Sydney during the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ last summer to inspire women and girls in sport, and raise moneyfor the Women Sport Australia charity.

Averaging 32km per day during the tournament, she documented her exploits extensively, and completed her exploit at Stadium Australia on the day of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ final, seeing Spain crowned champions against England.

Victory for Millonarios against Alianza Petrolera on 10 May 2023 meant a lot more than just three important points to stay at the top of the Colombian league. The day after the game, young Millonarios fan Miguel Ángel was scheduled to be euthanised after being diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Juan Pablo Vargas was in the Millonarios dressing room when the young fan visited the team before the game on his final trip to see his favourite team.

"We were all quiet, nobody wanted to say a word,” said the Costa Rica international defender. “It's difficult to see a person like that and even more so because of what we were told was going to happen to him. Mackalister [Millonarios team captain] told us to play the game for him, for his last game: 'If he's going to leave us, let him leave us happy.'” The promise of the team was fulfilled, and the next day Miguel Ángel passed away with Millonarios' victory as one of his final memories. The unquantifiable love he had for Millonarios did not go unnoticed, with the news reaching the eyes and ears of the world, including the FIFA Legends panel charged with choosing the top three fan moments between January and August 2023.

The Best - FIFA Football Awards 2023