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Bennetts End FC pictured above and North Watford, right inset, 50 years ago when the German side first visited Hertfordshire.

German footy team returns to Herts after 50 years for a rematch

Watford and Hemel Hempstead wants to get in touch with its then opponents. In 1963, the youth team from German club VfB


08 Lünen were invited to the UK by North Watford Youth Football Club and Bennetts End Youth Football Club. As well as Watford and Hemel, players also stayed

in Rickmansworth, Croxley Green, Kings and Abbots Langley, Bushey and Garston. Now, 50 years later, the “Lünen boys” are visiting

Watford and Hemel Hempstead again. Next year, the group, who are now age between 65 and 70, will stay for two or three days in a hotel near Watford and Hemel, then two days in London.

‘In 1963, the youth team from German club VfB 08 Lünen were invited to the UK by North Watford Youth Football Club and Bennetts End Youth Football Club’

Hans-Peter Bludau, Lunen player, said he would be thrilled if anyone who remembered the initial visit would like to meet the group again. He told My News Magazines what led to the first trip taking place. Hans-Peter revealed: “It begins in 1963. Te youth football club VfB 08 Lünen got in contact with North Watford Youth Football Club. Te manager of this club was Charlie Pinnington. Also the German club

German football team who visited Herts almost 50 years ago to play matches against teams from

contacted the youth football team from Bennetts End FC and their manager Chris Pingle and Frank Haylott. Te Watford team was a guest in Lünen in the summer of 1963, in 1965 and also in 1967. Te names of the payers were Barry Grieves, Paul Saviner, George Gascoigne, Mike Harman, Kevin Stratford, Alan and John Potter, Barry Cooke, Jim Mitchell, David Charlwood, David Sills and Brian Vickers.” Lunen first encountered the youth team from

Bennetts End FC at Whitsun in 1963 at a tournament with teams from across Europe. Te Bennetts End players were Martin Skelton, Vic Marino, Roger Ginger, Derek Hillier, Peter Howes, Alan Griffiths, John Sear, Bob Grierson, John Wallace, Tony Roe, Ray Dealey, Les Clifton and Las Chipchase. Te Watford boys stayed two weeks in Lünen. In

August 1963, VfB 08 Lünen visited Watford and Hemel Hempstead. Hans-Peter said it was the Germans first visit to another country and said they have fond memories. He said: “Our parents told us before our trip that the

English Army helped the Germans at the time after the war in Westfalen, where we live. So we came to England and we were very happy. What wonderful people.

“Te towns were very busy, nice shops, beautiful pubs, the top rank in Watford and the Youth Club in Bennetts End, Kimps Way. We had never seen anything like it before.” If you’d like to take part in the reunion, email by Tim Green l October 2012 l 23

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