The happy world of Haribo


It doesn’t matter what the country is, the cup is full of stories of wonder, awe and inspiration. David beating Goliath, George slaying The Dragon and *that* goal by Ronnie Radford, Ricki Villa and Trevor Brooking. In France there was the story of Calais taking Nantes to extra time in the 2000 final, in England we of course had 4th tier Chesterfield coming within a poor David Ellerey decision of a Wembley date with Chelsea and of course in Spain back in 1980, Real Madrid beat their second team Castilla in the final.

This season in Germany the hopes of the nation on an upset laid at the opponents of the two sides from Munich. In the red corner, German superbeings Bayern München were due to take on Regensburg whilst the “people’s club” 1860 were drawn to play against FC Hannef 05. The tiny club from a few miles outside the former West German capital Bonn, the town that gave (and continues to give) us Haribo. Named after the founder HAns RIegel and the town BOnn, the gummy sweets are a worldwide sensation. Today they produce a mere 80 million sweets per day in their 13 worldwide factories, enough to keep my kids happy. That reason alone was sure to bring the visiting fans to town, let alone the fact that Gummy Bears can be used as currency n the shops here.

With hordes of Bavarians preparing to descend on Hannef, it was a wise decision to move the game to SC Bonners 10,000 capacity stadium. It was here back in May that Hannef won the Middle Rhine Cup and thus gained a pass into the DFB Pokal. This would be the biggest game in the club’s history. Continue reading

The Hangover part 3


Today was a day for sunglasses. Not that I would say it was a late (late, late) night in the fleshpots of downtown Düsseldorf, nor the fact that temperatures were going to hit the big 4-0 later on. The main reason was that we were heading westwards to the town of Aachen, where the New Tivoli was our venue. The new home of Alemannia Aachen is one of the finest new-style stadiums in Germany (and there a quite a few), but its most notable feature is its yellow seats. Bright yellow seats…..nearly 25,000 of them.

Our journey had the word problem written all over it. A train ride from Düsseldorf to Aachen, skirting close to the Dutch border doesn’t sound like anymore difficult than a normal daily commute (well, setting aside the fact that I have to negotiate the joys of service SouthEastern-style). But add in the fact that our journey would take us via Mönchengladbach and you have a receipe for carnage. Borussia Mönchengladbach would be making the 30 minute journey to Aachen for their first game of the new season, a season where optimism hasn’t been as high for well over a decade. Continue reading

The funniest headbutt


Many of people may have seen the Lafferty incident on Saturday where he feigned injury to get a fellow professional sent off….But is it the best one?  My entry into the “worst simulation to get someone sent off” award goes to……..

Norbert Meier – Click here to see why.

So which one is best?  Vote below to see who wins the award..