Photo essays

Live Like Shertz

This has been a very hard week for a lot of us in the Philadelphia Union, Sons of Ben, and Bearfight families. On Friday we said good bye to our brother Eric Shertz. It was one of the most intensely emotional days I’ve ever experienced.

The thing I think we all fell back on was the strength we found in each other as a group, as a family. We found our strength in our unity and love for one another. Even though Eric is not with us anymore, he’s still able to bring us all closer.

While Friday was filled with tears, the wake at Stoney’s British Pub the next day was filled with laughs, smiles and memories of our friend. Owner Mike Stone opened up with a prayer followed by some songs by a great bagpipe player. Drinks were shared as friends got to share stories celebrating the life of Eric Shertz.

When 4 pm rolled around all eyes were on the TV’s as the Union were playing in Montreal. Everyone was blown away by the tribute the team gave to one of their original fans. Tributes from around the league started to appear as well. The support given to Eric’s family from all over the American soccer community was simply mind blowing.

At the next home match, against DC United on May 10, the Sons of Ben are holding a free BYOB tailgate in Eric’s honor. It is necessary to RSVP, which you can do by clicking here. It doesn’t cost anything but making a reservation will allow enough food to be purchased for everyone who is coming. DC United supporters groups The Screaming Eagles and Barra Brava will be joining the festivities.

Donations to the Shertz family can still be made by clicking here.

Eric Shertz MemorialScarves up for a fallen brother

Eric Shertz MemorialTribute to a friend

Eric Shertz MemorialMike Stone leads a packed house in prayer

Eric Shertz MemorialJim Hunter piped a tune

Eric Shertz MemorialBryan James shared his memories of Eric

Eric Shertz MemorialJustin Lee shared a heartfelt song he in memory of Eric

Eric Shertz MemorialA packed house celebrated the life of Eric

Eric Shertz MemorialPunchy came out of hibernation to be with Eric’s son Gabe and the rest of the family

Eric Shertz MemorialGabe Shertz brought down the house when he spoke about his father

Eric Shertz MemorialGabe flanked by his uncles, Kevin (left) and Brian

Eric Shertz MemorialThe broadcast of the Union game in Montreal paid tribute to Eric…

Eric Shertz MemorialAs did the Union players just before kickoff…

Eric Shertz MemorialAnd DC United’s Screaming Eagles…

Eric Shertz MemorialPortland Timbers’ Lone Star Brigade…

Eric Shertz MemorialAnd Real Salt Lake’s SLC Wrecking Crew

Thanks to Dan Gorman, Barbara Colligon, The Screaming Eagles, The Lone Star Brigade and the SLC Wrecking Crew for the photographs.


  1. Amazing.

  2. james Lockerbie says:

    Great tributes to a Great fan. I like the quote This is my Family.

    It made me think of a hymn ” This is my Story”

    Many teams across the world have a song the fans sing during the game, it is relevant or significant to the teams history.

    I would like to suggest to everyone to try to come up with lyrics that match the tone to the hymn listed above. The title should be, This is my Family.


    let’s get this done it could be an awesome tribute to eric Shertz the Supporters and teams first team anthem

    • Love the idea of singing songs for a reason. Is this the tune you’re thinking? I think it’s called “Blessed Assurance.”

      • james Lockerbie says:

        Yes that’s it now hopefully someone talented can find the right words to fill in the song. I’ve been trying

        This is my family, this is my team…

    • This is my best stab James, but maybe it will lead to something great. Though it won’t be as emotional as YNWA, it’ll be ours. Love you Eric! RIP

      This is my Union, this is my song
      Praising my family all day long
      This is my Union, this is my song
      Praising my family all day long

      Perfect possession, perfect in flight
      Visions of glory now burst to my sight
      Union ascending, fight till the end
      Echoes of family, the River defend

      This is my Union, this is my song
      Praising my family all day long
      This is my Union, this is my song
      Praising my family all day long

      • jwlockerbie says:

        My gollie I think we have a winner. I would suggest you submit it to The Sons of ben website.

        I think that would be perfect imagine the whole stadium singing that all together. I mean it will probably start in the river end but after a few
        games and having the song in the programs we might be able to get the
        whole stadium in on it.

        Good job, I hope it will catch on!

      • jwlockerbie says:

        Now, if we could only get the Ben Franklin goal celebration started.

        The goal celebration and the song could be two awesome tributes to two very amazing fans my brother Rob Lockerbie
        and Eric Shertz

      • Thanks, I’ll submit it now.

  3. Kevin Shertz says:

    Beautiful tribute. Thank you.

  4. PainDon'tHurt says:

    The Screaming Eagles, the Lone Star Brigade, and the SLC Wrecking Crew are my new favorite rival supporters groups. Very classy.

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