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  • Writer's pictureStuart

Germany v Italy - a night at the FanFest

We were a ticket short for this game, so I volunteered to go to the Dortmund Westfalenhallen Fanfest, which is quite literally next door to Borussia Dortmund's Wesfalenstadion (imagine the proximity of Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena).

What an atmosphere - 30,000 people in 4 huge areas watching the game on big screens. Sadly, Germany lost - by this stage we were cheering on Germany because they have been such wonderful hosts.

I bumped into 3 Scots lads, who by sheer chance had met Keir the day before (Scots have this great ability to home-in to other Scots). They were Iain, Allan and Chubbs and we and a great laugh together at the game, even if Iain was feeling a bit rough after a major session the night before!

After the game, 65,000 people from the stadium, and 30,000 from the Westfalenhallen headed for the trains. We'd sadly checked out of our hotel across the road (it had been pre-booked by FIFA officials) but I figured that the staff would still recognise us and let us in. I was right! Keir and I (in complete football garb) strolled into the hotel bar and hob-knobbed with the FIFA hierarchy for a couple of hours.

We also had a chat with our mate Vito who played the piano in the hotel reception.

After a couple of beers there, we had to meet up with Lee and the gang in town. We dreaded the thought of having to take the train, so we thought we'd try to blag a lift one more time from one of the official FIFA drivers (we'd been getting away with it all week).

Enter Festus, one of the FIFA Volunteers.

We had a chat with him (I think Keir bribed him with a Scotland badge) and he agreed to take us into town. We had a good blether in the cab and told him the restaurant we were heading for. When we arrived in town there was a police road block near the pedestrianised area we were heading for, Festus leaned out the car window and said "I have FIFA officials onboard" to a Polizei, and we were waved through. "I've always wanted to do that", Festus laughed and dropped us off at the door of our restaurant, to the amazement of Lee and the gang. You're a star Festus!

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