John's story is a thoroughly uplifting one. During a time when most news coming out of Malaga CF is disheartening and characters are entering and leaving the boardroom daily, we see just one constant: the fans.
'El sentimiento nunca muere' (the feeling never dies) is one of the mottos of the club and time and time again it proves to be true. With the team languishing towards the bottom of the Second Division, Malaga still has some of the healthiest attendances around. The 'ultras' are as passionate as ever, but there is another group that consistently sustains and supports the club: its legion of foreign fans.
There aren't many grounds around like La Rosaleda (besides those of the global behemoths) where you can hear so many foreign voices on a regular basis. There's something about it, like John says, that is difficult to pin down, which helps encourage such loyalty and commitment.
It certainly isn't on-field success (besides a brief glory period which seems a lifetime away now); nor is it cheap ticket prices (they are still comparable with top-flight rates).
Perhaps it's the unifying power of being the area's 'only' football team. If the team is doing badly, everyone feels it. If times are good, every one benefits from it.
We live in an area with enormous diversity and yet we all have one thing in common, one shared cause: Malaga CF.
It's a family. And when times are tough, families put their differences aside and come together.
And that is something special.