No split loyalties for city councillor - he's cheering on Germany
- Credit: Archant
As lord mayor he once led a rousing rendition of Three Lions from the balcony of City Hall, with an England shirt under his ceremonial robes.
But for Martin Schmierer, city councillor for the Mancroft ward, there will be no split loyalties when England face Germany in the last 16 of the European Championships.
While the Green Party councillor has lived all but a week of his life in England, he has strong family connections in Germany and was born in Stuttgart to a German mother and an English father, before moving to England when he was just a week old.
And while he wishes the best for both countries when they aren't playing one another, a combination of his German roots and a 25-year grudge mean when the two sides meet, it is Joachim Low's side he will be cheering on.
He said: "It all goes back to Euro 96, when England met Germany in the semi-finals. All my school friends were giving me stick because of my name, just playground banter really, but I thought 'if they're going to say I support Germany, I'll support Germany'.
"Whoever goes through will have my support for the rest of the tournament, but from 5pm until the final whistle I'll be fully German.
“I feel 100pc British – except when Germany play England."
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However, while he’ll be rooting against Gareth Southgate’s men, he doesn’t go into the fixture with confidence.
He said: “I will be supporting Germany but with the utmost belief that England will win. This isn’t the Germany side of old with players like Schweinsteiger, Ozil and Khedira.
“I now think England have more quality – they have some great attacking players like Sterling and Grealish who I think could cause Germany some problems.
“Leroy Sane has not looked at his best, but so the main danger will come from the fullbacks.
“It does depend on which Germany side shows up but even the one that thrashed Portugal looked shaky at the back.
“I just hope it doesn’t go to penalties, because even though Germany would be favourites it stops it being a team game – it becomes about individuals. “