Monday, 28 December 2015

Ehrenplatz (Pride of Place)

In July 2015 German side Altona 93 took on Dulwich Hamlet at Champion Hill in a historic match for the Pa Wilson Memorial Trophy. The visitors from the fifth tier of German Football won the match by 5 goals to 3 and flew back to Hamburg with the handsome trophy tucked away in their luggage.

Benjamin Lipke and Jakob Sachs of Altona 93

Both clubs were founded in 1893 and originally met in 1925, but it was only following an amazing chance meeting between Mishi Morath and Jan Stover of the respective clubs, that a new bond has grown. In a gesture that is almost unique in modern football the home strip of each club has become the second strip of the other. Altona 93’s change strip is the classic Hamlet pinkand blue, whilst Dulwich, in turn, adorn the red black and white hoops when a colour-clash occurs.

A further match has been arranged for 2018 when the Hamlet team will return to Germany to celebrate the 125th anniversary of both clubs. A fund is in place if you would like to contribute to it.
I asked our good friend Jan of the All To Nah fanzine if he could photograph the Pa Wilson Memorial Trophy in situ at the Adolf-J├Ąger-Kampfbahn. To be perfectly honest I was expecting it to be sitting in a trophy cabinet in the boardroom. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the solid bronze trophy has pride of place in the players’ dressing room. And why not? Thinking about it, how many footballers enter their own club boardrooms or trophy rooms to see the silverware that they actually had a big hand in winning. Very few I would guess. So it makes perfect sense to have the trophy on display in the home dressing room as a constant reminder of their success.

Jan managed to get into the changing room with first team players Benjamin Lipke and Jakob Sachs after a recent match (pictured above). Both players were in the squad that visited Champion Hill last July. The whole team, Jan tells me, enjoyed the whole experience and are very proud of the Pa Wilson Memorial Trophy.

 Jack McInroy

My grateful thanks to Jan Stover of the All To Nah fanzine. Jan kindly took the above photographs in December 2015.

Andy Nunn's photos found here.

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