Aldo's emotional weekend in San Sebastian
Sunday World columnist John Aldridge received a rapturous welcome as he returned to San Sebastian to watch his former club Real Sociedad in action on Sunday.
Aldo was guest of honour as David Moyes' Sociedad entertained Espanyol, with the former Republic of Ireland striker given a heroes reception as he was presented to the supporters inside the Anoeta Stadium.
"I have not been back to San Sebastian since my time at Real Sociedad and I was really looking forward to it," Aldo tells sundayworld.com
"It was difficult for me to leave Liverpool back in the day and the truth is I never wanted to go, but moving to Spain was a wonderful experience and I'm so glad it was part of my story.
"I scored plenty of goals for Real Sociedad and the people are just fantastic. The Basque people are very much like the Irish in their warmth and I will never forget the way they welcomed me into their city."
Aldridge scored some vital goals for Sociedad in his two years at the club and did not want to leave, but his family struggled to settle in Spain and that inspired his move back to the UK with Tranmere.
The ovation he received on his returned to his former home last weekend confirmed his contribution to the Real Sociedad cause is cherished by the Basque people.