Almost exactly two years, in mid-July 2015, Linkin Park played in Shanghai. The Bayern München squad were also staying in the bustling Chinese financial centre at the same time: two different but equally internationally successful groups who met as they were touring Asia.
And so Linkin Park bassist and football lover David Farrell came to the stadium to watch FC Bayern’s 4-1 win against Valencia. That first, coincidental encounter turned into regular contact. Jérôme Boateng went to Linkin Park concerts in Germany. The band and the players also organised charity projects over social media, including a competition to raise funds for the nonprofit organization Music for Relief. The winner from the USA was invited to a match at the Allianz Arena, while the band members regularly donned Bayern kits, particularly bassist Farrell and singer Chester Bennigton.
As recently as May of this year, Bennington and Farrell sent a video message congratulating Bayern on their fifth successive Bundesliga title. Both wore Bayern kits with the number 12. Jérôme Boateng and Thiago thanked them, and there were even discussions at the club about asking the band to play a few songs at the Allianz Arena.
On Thursday of this week, Chester Bennington died in Los Angeles at the age of 41. FC Bayern München has lost a friend.