Express & Star

German mayor pledges more than £1,000 to help give junior footballers 'trip of a lifetime'

A junior football club has moved a step closer to taking a squad on a European "trip of a lifetime" with a gift from a German mayor of more than £1,000 towards the trip.

Members of AFC Bridgnorth Spartans pictured with Chairman Hartmut Siegl (centre) in April

Around 13 members of the under-17s at Bridgnorth Spartans are planning to visit the city of Schrobenhausen in June.

The two towns are twinned and the trip on June 23 is being arranged as part of the German city's celebrations to mark 30 years of friendship with Bridgnorth.

Earlier in the year, Hartmut Siegl, the chairman of the twinning committee in Schrobenhausen, which is located in Bavaria between Munich and Nuremberg, visited Bridgnorth and Spartans FC as part of the twinning celebrations.

Now Mr Siegl has contacted the football team and offered more than £1,000 in support for the Spartans' trip courtesy of Schrobenhausen's mayor, Harald Reisner.

Damien Williams, coach to the under-17s, said: "It actually works out more than £1,000. They have arranged for the transfers to the airport, are giving 50 euros per lad towards hotel accommodation and are also paying for transport to Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena where we have a visit planned."

He said the two day-trip to Germany will see Bridgnorth Spartans take on local side SV Steingriff in a friendly match and the team will also take part in the twinning celebrations - the two towns, which are both also twinned with Thiers in France, were officially twinned together 30 years ago.

"As you can imagine, the lads are absolutely buzzing about the opportunity," added Damien. "It is a massive boon for them.

"They are all doing first year of A-levels or have just started an apprenticeship but this is the generation that during Covid missed out so much. Most of them were in the middle of senior school and had all their trips cancelled so this is just a brilliant opportunity."

Despite the influx of German cash, Damien said that the Spartans still needed to raise another £2,500 for their trip.

But help has also come from a lot closer to home. with Bridgnorth Lions donating £850 last week.

"My son Hayden Williams wrote to Bridgnorth Lions to ask for support after we did the Bridgnorth Walk last week and they have committed to £850," said Damien. "We're also hoping to set up a GoFundMe page and on carnival day we are going to have a tombola and the lads will be doing shifts on that."

If you can help support the Bridgnorth Spartans' trip to Schrobenhausen, you can contact the club at: