From Prussia with love… German football fans come to watch Wrexham 39 years after clubs met in Europe

Reporter:

Jonathan Grieve

A contingent of German fans rekindled old memories as they cheered Wrexham AFC to victory.

About 200 1.FC Magdeburg fans descended on The Racecourse to watch the Reds beat Torquay United 4-0 on Saturday.

The German club is currently on a training camp in North West England as the 3. Liga enjoys its winter break from competitive fixtures.

Hundreds of fans made their way over to the UK and a large group decided to take in a game at the home of Wrexham AFC while here.

The two clubs went head-to-head in the first round of the Cup Winners’ Cup back in September 1979.

In front of nearly 10,000 supporters, the first leg at The Racecourse ended in a 3-2 win for the home side, with Dixie McNeil, Steve Fox and a late goal from Steve Buxton giving Wrexham a slight advantage to take to East Germany two weeks later.

The return saw some 15,000 fans witness an equally close contest at the Ernst-Grube-Stadion, though Wrexham ultimately lost in extra time and were knocked out of the competition.

The fans descended on the Centenary Club for a pre-match drink before taking to the stands to enjoy
the game.

Supporter Stefan Roggenthin said: “It is a winter training camp and we are playing against Fleetwood Town and Bolton Wanderers.

“A lot of fans wanted to follow their club to England.

“There was the games between Wrexham and Magdeburg in 1979, we made contact with Peter Jones at Wrexham and said some people would like to see a game here and could we do it.

“It was a great game and Wrexham have been very friendly.

“We enjoyed it. The games in Europe were a long time ago.

“Wrexham is part of the history of these games and we wanted to remember these games.

“Wrexham play in the National League, Magdeburg played for a long time in Germany’s fourth division.

“Now they are playing better
in the third division, maybe they
will go up to the second division after 27 years.

“There are a lot of similar things between Wrexham and Magdeburg, and the Magdeburg people wanted to visit Wrexham to see the other club.”

A spokesman for the German club’s fans added: “We came here today because there is a big history between Wrexham and 1.FC Magdeburg.

“We are actually following our team in England – they are on a training camp playing against other teams.

“We took the opportunity to see this match at this really great stadium and we really enjoyed it.

“We would love to come back and hopefully we could see each other in the Champions League one day.”

Email:

jonathan.grieve@nwn.co.uk

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