Doug's van flies the flag for football

FOOTBALL crazy Douglas Dalziel is swapping his articulated lorry for a tiny van - and has given it a World Cup makeover!Bearing the flags of the 32 countries taking part in the football feast and a message in German for the hosts, the little red Bedford Rascal will be his transport to the tournament.

FOOTBALL crazy Douglas Dalziel is swapping his articulated lorry for a tiny van - and has given it a World Cup makeover!

Bearing the flags of the 32 countries taking part in the football feast and a message in German for the hosts, the little red Bedford Rascal will be his transport to the tournament.

Mr Dalziel, 42 of Mill Lane, Felixstowe said he bought the vehicle specially for the trip and has spent many hours of his spare time painting the flags on it. Accompanied by a pal, he will drive the 970cc van to Germany, and sleep in it.

He said: “It's like getting out of an elephant and into a mouse.

“I should have done this when I was 18 - I think it must be some form of midlife crisis.

“I told my wife Kim I am soldier for my country and my papers have been served and I must go and do my duty for my team - she doesn't mind, as long as I give her a couple of years' notice.

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“She's not a football fan, so at least she will be able to watch all the programmes she wants on the TV!”

He has painted the 15 flags of competing nations on each side of the van, with the England and German flags on the front, and a message in German on the back, saying “Thank you for your hospitality”.

A driver for Banana Transport in Felixstowe, Mr Dalziel said: “I think it is football festival and I am really looking forward to it. I follow England all the time and have been to Greece, south of France and I got the idea for this trip when I went to Portgual two years ago to see them.

“Everyone thought I was joking and then I bought the van.

“It will be a great adventure and so much fun. I just love football and I love seeing football put a smile on people's faces.

“I hope England do really well and we have got a great chance, but I won't be crying if we get knocked out because there will still be so much good football to enjoy. I just love all the different countries and cultures and that's a big part of it.”

He will set off tomorrow night after England have played Paraguay, and hopes to take in a match en route to see England versus Trinidad and Tobago. He hopes if England do well his boss will be flexible and let him stay a little longer.

He added: “The van is a bit basic inside, but we have go sleeping bags and a generator for brewing tea and coffee, and the roadside services in Germany are excellent.”

Are you travelling to the tournament? Contact Neil Puffett on 01473 324796 or e-mail neil.puffett@eveningstar.co.uk

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