Footy fan slept rough for 10 years after getting lost going to toilet at match

Most football fans can relate to having one too many to drink at a game and getting lost as you desperately scramble to find the nearest toilet at half-time.

But 99.9% of the time you reach your destination. Not Swiss supporter Rolf Bantle, though. In fact, it took him 10 years to find his way back from from an away day to the San Siro in August 2004.

The pensioner had travelled to Italy to cheer on his beloved Basel, who were facing Inter Milan in a Champions League qualifier. He needed to relieve himself during the match but got disorientated and couldn't find his friends.

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He subsequently missed the four-hour journey back home after the 4-1 defeat, deciding to then stay put and sleep rough for the next decade. Explaining his remarkable tale to Schweiz am Sonntag in 2015, Bantle said: "I was suddenly in a different sector.

"I had about €20 in my pocket and no phone so I wandered into Milan. People gave me food and cigarettes, and one student offered me a sleeping bag."

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Bantle was reported missing, but he had been living in a rehab centre due to his heavy drinking with no close relatives to look after him. And he didn't want to be found anyway, as he was happy with his new life.

Living on the streets, showering in a public washroom and regularly visiting the local library suited him down to the ground. "There was for me no longer any reason to go home. I enjoyed the freedom of Milan," he said.

It was only in 2015 when he suffered a broken femur that he was finally discovered, as he didn't have Italian health insurance. After the authorities were alerted he was taken back to Switzerland.

Bantle was then moved into a retirement home. He added: “I like it here. Ten years is enough and here I feel very good now.”


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