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There's an elephant in the room and it's not Paul Hurst

3 March 2021

An elephant in Bochum.

Learning a language is fun.

As promised after the Lion in Grimsby, here's the elephant in Bochum update. In 2002 I was based in Northern Germany with the army, pre ifollow times so to get my football fix I adopted a local team, Werder Bremen. They had had better days when I started to follow them and, to be fair, they were on the crest of a slump so it was easy to support them.

On this particular day they were away at Bochum, not far and a decent away ground so off we went. The normal parking area for away fans at Bochum is on a large old parade area (they used to go in for that sort of thing a few years back), this particular time though a travelling circus was using it so we parked on a perimeter road that was slightly elevated above the circus. We ambled off towards the ground for a beer and bratty when a small elephant came out of the bushes on the side of the car park. It didn't seem to be inclined to do anything but eat the bushes so in my Immingham Comprehensive school German (O level grade D) I shouted to one of the circus staff that the elephant had escaped. I was told not to worry, someone would come round and get it. I think. With the situation in hand we decided not to pet sit a small elephant and go for our pre-match beer. As we walked around the corner a car with four home fans came towards us. I did the right thing and flagged them down and warned them about the hazard around the corner. For my troubles I was told to go away or something like that. They then sped off despite my warning only to have to slam the brakes on as there really was an elephant in the road. The moral of the story being if any away fans ever tell you that there is an escaped circus animal around the corner it's worth taking them seriously.

from Tim Mosey

Letters Ed responds: Wunderbar

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