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Ipswich Town: Record number of German fans flock to Portman Road to see Blues face QPR

PUBLISHED: 16:50 11 January 2014 | UPDATED: 11:47 12 January 2014

Fortuna Düsseldorf fans outside Portman Road before the Ipswich Town match against QPR.

Fortuna Düsseldorf fans outside Portman Road before the Ipswich Town match against QPR.

Archant

Ipswich Town had some extra continental support at Portman Road yesterday as they took on QPR.

A total of 120 Germans packed into the Sir Bobby Robson stand to cheer on the side they’ve adopted in the English league.

The fans of Fortuna Düsseldorf have been coming over once a year from their home town since 2006. This year saw their biggest attendance yet.

They stood out in the crowds flocking to Portman Road with scarves that were half blue for Ipswich and half red for the Bundesliga team. Among those who made the trip was Egou Köhnen, a former defender for the team between 1966 and 1981.

One of the organisers of the trip, Friedrich ‘Freadee’ Schacht, said the fans related to Ipswich because of the similarities with their own club.

“Ipswich and Fortuna have very comparable histories,” he said. “They were very strong at the end of the 1970s and beginning of the 80s when Ipswich won the FA Cup and UEFA Cup.

“Fortuna won the German Cup twice, and was in the UEFA Cup and the European Cup Winners Cup finals against Barcelona the same year Ipswich lost to Barcelona in the quarter finals.

“Ipswich won the UEFA Cup in 1981 and they beat FC Cologne. FC Cologne are our biggest rival.

“They are two clubs with a great history. They are not very big clubs like Arsenal or Manchester United but they have the same status in their countries.”

The trip manager is Ulli Munsterberg. He said coming to Ipswich has practical advantages as well: “When you look at our geography it had to be for us somewhere we could go one day there and one day back.”

He added: “I used to be a footballer myself and used to manage an U18 team, but I’m here mainly as a fan and supporter. I just like to see a proper football game and of course all the best to Ipswich!”

On Mick McCarthy he added: “He’s Irish and we love the Irish so he’s a good guy.”

One Ipswich Town season ticket holder greeted the Fortuna Düsseldorf fans as they arrived at the stadium.

Jim Hendry said: “I love it because I’ve lived abroad for many years when I was a young soldier and I’ve got to know many people… I’ve been an Ipswich season ticket holder for a long, long time and I love other people showing an interest in my club. I just felt I had to say hello.

“I used to get on the same train as all the Dutch fans that used to come over here and I’ve got to know many of them and I just want to make them feel welcome to our country.”

A formation of Lynx helicopters made a stop at Wattisham Flying Station today to mark the end of the aircraft’s distinguished 40-year career with the British Army.

The family of a missing Suffolk woman have “serious concerns” about her safety, police have said.

A man and a teenager from Stowmarket have been charged with robbery along with a series of other offences.

Ipswich Town Hall is preparing for its 150th birthday with a major celebration at the end of the month.

A paranoid schizophrenic has been sectioned following a drug-induced episode involving an imitation machine gun last year.

A former solicitor who left the scene of a crash she caused while more than four times the drink-driving limit has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Organisations in a Suffolk town are teaming up to tidy litter from their streets and help preserve the environment.

Window Museum displays at Albion Wharf reflects the importance of the Ipswich barge fleet in days gone by

Today - January 16 - is Register My Appliance Day for home electricals.

Emergency services attended the scene of a car crash in Ipswich today.

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