Thursday 17th March to Monday 21st March 2011
A party of Liverpool FC supporters recently made their 5th consecutive Friendship visit since 2007 to Moenchengladbach in Germany to yet again consolidate and enhance even further a very special friendship that goes back over 30 years to the 70’s decade. Liverpool FC & Borussia Moenchengladbach met in the UEFA Cup final in 1973, Liverpool winning 3-2 on aggregate and they also met in the1977 European cup final in the eternal city of Rome where Liverpool FC won their first ever of their five European cups, the Reds running out 3-1 winners. The two European giants met again the following season 1977/78 in the semi-final of the European Cup, Liverpool winning 4-2 on aggregate.
Since these famous clashes their has been a very special friendship between the two sets of supporters which has resulted in Borussia MG supporters travelling to Liverpool every year since 1992 during the Bundesliga winter break to support the Reds at Anfield, and Liverpool FC supporters led by annual friendship visit organiser Graham Agg, have travelled to Gladbach annually since 2007.
In 1991, a delegation of Borussia Moenchengladbach supporters travelled to Liverpool to present a cheque for 21000 Deutsch Marks for the Hillsborough families, an amazing gesture that has NEVER been forgotten on Merseyside.
This year’s LFC supporters Friendship visit to Moenchengladbach took place from Thursday 17th March to Monday 21st March 2011. The trip involved a stadium tour of the impressive 54000 capacity Borussia Park, Borussia’s new home since 2004, which even has a corporate hospitality suite called the “Liverpool” suite! Also on the agenda and highlight of the visit was guaranteed match tickets to watch Borussia in Bundesliga action versus FC Kaiserslautern.
LFC supporters were amongst the 47,000 plus attendance at the Borussia Park stadium on Friday 18th March 2011 to support Borussia in their fight to avoid relegation against fellow Bundesliga strugglers FC Kaiserslautern.
At half time veteran Borussia Moenchengladbach stadium announcer Torsten Knippertz welcomed the travelling Liverpool supporters to Borussia Park & the town of Moenchengladbach.
The Liverpool supporters unfortunately saw Borussia, who are currently situated bottom of the Bundesliga table, lose the relegation tussle 0-1 after a horrendous goalkeeping error. The Liverpool FC supporters were once again invited to an after-match fan party in the Borussia official “Fanhaus” situated near the stadium with amazing scenes of friendship between the Borussia & Liverpool supporters. Liverpool supporters this year unveiled a friendship flag with the words emblazoned in German “Eine ganz besondere freundschaft” which translates in English to “A very special friendship”.
On Saturday evening, 19th March, the Liverpool FC supporters were invited to the prestigous local public house, the “Hehner-Hof” in Moenchengladbach for yet another BMG/LFC Fan Party. Here the official presentations took place.
Graham Agg, addressed the assembled audience and spoke of how important the Borussia MG & Liverpool FC friendship is to the Liverpool supporters and thanked the Borussia supporters for their unbelievable friendship and hospitality during their stay.
The 2011 LFC Supporters annual Moenchengladbach Friendship visit was once again fully endorsed by Liverpool Football Club. For the 5th consecutive year, Brian Hall, ex-Liverpool player and now LFC Public Relations manager presented friendship trip organiser Agg with a gift before departure to Germany. The gift from the ex-Liverpool FC Player’s Association was a magnificent framed individually signed picture of all the players that had played under legendary LFC manager Bill Shankly from 1959 to 1974. This was presented during the official fan party presentations by Graham Agg to famous Borussia supporter Willi Hartmann, veteran of the 1973 UEFA Cup final at Anfield and also the 1977 European Cup final in Rome. Willi was also at Anfield to see his beloved Borussia team lose 0-3 in the second leg of the 1978 Europen cup semi-final. Since those heady famous nights at Anfield Willi Hartmann has amassed over 50 visits to Anfield to support the Reds and has only witnessed one solitary LFC defeat versus Wolves at Anfield in December 2010 during that time.
Special guest Ronald Nuernberger, Chairman of the German Reds Official LFC Supporters Club also addressed the audience and spoke of the importance of the LFC/BMG friendship.
The following day, LFC supporters watched LFC’s 2-0 away victory at the Stadium of Light versus Sunderland at the “Endlich Treff” bar in the Moenchengladbach Old Town.
This year over 60 Liverpool FC supporters made the trek to Moenchengladbach, the vast majority from the Merseyside region but there were also LFC fans from Southampton, Crewe, Sheffield, Coventry, Milton Keynes & Ireland, and a group of German Reds from different parts of Germany.
Organiser Agg stated that he wishes “to thank Thomas “Tower” Weinmann (Borussia MG Fan Liaision Officer), Matthes Neumann & Jonny Thomas Polcher (BMG Fan Projekt) for their help in organising the friendship visit, also Willi Hartmann & his wife Silke, life long Borussia supporter’s Helmut & Molly Gromotka, German Reds Chairman Ronald Nuernberger, the Borussia Moenchengladbach fans, and the citizens of the town of Moenchengladbach for their unbelievable hospitality and friendship shown to the Liverpool fans during their stay”. He also said that he would like “to thank all the travelling Liverpool FC supporters for being superb ambassadors for Liverpool Football Club and the City of Liverpool and that this weekend has proven yet again that the Borussia Moenchengladbach & Liverpool FC friendship is absolutely unique in world football”.