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German football fans make 750-mile trip to cheer on Shoreham FC
A band of German football fans said “auf wiedersehen” to their Olympic Stadium and “ja, bitte” – yes please – to a wet afternoon at Shoreham FC.
Ten supporters of the German football club Hertha Berlin travelled 750 miles to watch their newly-adopted English team after finding out about a connection between the two clubs.
They are more used to watching their home city club flying high in their top division – the Bundesliga – in their 77,000 capacity stadium.
But they decided to forego Hertha’s match for the joys of a trip to the non-league minnows after finding out they share the same playing colours and the same year of formation, 1892.
And the generous continental fans left £60 lighter after agreeing to pay midfielder Lawrence Edwards’ fine, after he was sent-off late on in the club’s 1-1 draw with Rye United in the Sussex County League on Saturday.
Bonds between the clubs were then strengthened after the game as they all headed to the Crown and Anchor in Shoreham’s High Street to watch Hertha’s match against Eintracht Frankfurt live on TV.
Club officials now hope to return the visit to the German capital later in the season to further forge links between the two teams.
Shoreham FC president Stuart Slaney said the club had been contacted by Hertha fans earlier this month after they realised the two clubs had the two items in common.
He said: “They wanted to see a bit of UK football and fortunately instead of a Premiership or Championship team, they chose a grassroots club.
“One of our players got sent-off in the 90th minute and the Hertha supporters thought it was because they were shouting him encouragement to go into tackles, so they paid for his fine.
“They were shouting for Shoreham and it was one of the best atmospheres we have had in quite a while.
“It’s a shame that these supporters travelled 750 miles, but we can’t get local supporters to come 500 yards to see us.
“We are hoping to return the favour nearer the end of the season and maybe try and get a friendly with the supporters club.”
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