World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

England fans winning over German kids

claire_heald66.gifCOLOGNE - A whopping 85,000 England fans made it here for the match, the latest figures guestimate from officials.

But before the biggest crowd so far packed the stadium and city, one group of fans made it to a local school to teach the German children a few football songs. And it wasn’t like assembly in my day.

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Imagine 400 school children chanting "Deutschland, Deutschland” and 100 England fans taking the roof off the hall with "Football’s Coming Home" and you’re close.

“And to think you were frightened to cough when I was at school,” one of the more senior England fans told me, with a mischievous eyebrow raised.

After ramping up assembly, they went off for a bi-lingual football natter in the classrooms and then to next door FC Koln for a penalty shoot-out.

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Headmistress Beate Weisbarth – no shrinking violet on the microphone herself – told me that in one short day, the next generation of fans could learn English supporters were not just the hooligans they had heard about.

Initiatives like this bring the World Cup to suburban schoolkids unlikely to have a precious ticket to a game, says organiser Mark Perryman, convenor of the London England Fans group and actively involved in supporter initiatives to develop a positive England fan culture.

“If a group of Brazilians had come to my school when I was 11, I wouldn’t have forgotten it,” he says.

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Well the England team might not have reached those heights yet, but the supporters are certainly making an impression.

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Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 01:43 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Chris wrote:

Hi there,

most people here in germany are aware the equation english fan = hooligan doesn't hold true.
Now everybody can see it for his/her own.

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  • 2.
  • At 02:06 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Andrew Shenton wrote:

85000 england fans may sound a lot, but does that number include the thousands of english reporters who are reporting on anything from football (crikey), to german architechture.
i'm sure if you stripped out reporters and celebrities, the number of reported english fans would be much less. maybe 30000.

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  • 3.
  • At 02:32 PM on 21 Jun 2006,
  • Joakim wrote:

85k is not the biggest crowd so far. There were at least 100k Swedes (of whom around 60k had a ticket) in Berlin for the game against Paraguay.

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All my thanks are just for the English fans who could be able to make the school children involve in the world cup teaching them football songs. It is a positive approach as they are making something for the next generation and thus they will learn how to associate with the people from different culture and for sure, that small children will not forget this incident for the rest of their life.

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All my thanks are just for the English fans who could be able to make the school children involve in the world cup teaching them football songs. It is a positive approach as they are making something for the next generation and thus they will learn how to associate with the people from different culture and for sure, that small children will not forget this incident for the rest of their life.

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  • 6.
  • At 12:26 PM on 23 Jun 2006,
  • Paul S wrote:

Did they teach the german kids their most popular dittie at the matches:

Rule brit tanya, brit tanya rules the waves. England england shall never be slaves, followed by the dam busters theme tune followed by that one about bomber harris etc etc etc....

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  • 7.
  • At 04:12 PM on 24 Jun 2006,
  • Mel Kenny wrote:

Paul S you will be very disappointed to hear it seems that we in turn sang friendly German and English songs helped along by the England Band in what was a carnival of an assembly.

The English fans then gave out books, shirts and goodies to the children.

We then split up and went into children's classrooms and had a conversational English class.

Never had the children been so motivated about learning English.

We then went onto FC Kolns training ground where we had "It's a Knockout" style Penalty Shoot out where the two Robinsons (incl me!) were in goal....fans of the day in fact

http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com/06/en/w/hfc/fom_d.html?id=810058

If I was a child in that school, I would never forget that day.

Nor will I having seen the smiles on all the faces.....and the treat of a school dinner!!!!

And nor will I forget that morning my picture taken with none other than Wolfgang Weber...the German player who made it 2-2 in 1966!!

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