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Norwich woman's split World Cup loyalties

PUBLISHED: 07:53 26 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:33 01 July 2010

Waltraud Jarrold

Waltraud Jarrold

Peter Walsh

Born in Germany and now living in England, Waltraud Jarrold will have a foot in both camps ahead of tomorrow's knock-out second round World Cup clash - and she hopes that football will be the winner no matter which side triumphs.

Born in Germany and now living in England, Waltraud Jarrold will have a foot in both camps ahead of tomorrow's knock-out second round World Cup clash - and she hopes that football will be the winner no matter which side triumphs.

Mrs Jarrold is president of the Norwich and Norfolk/Koblenz Friendship Association and has been responsible for helping to foster good relations between the two countries as part of her role.

Norwich and Koblenz, a Roman town in the heart of Rhineland where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet, have been formally twinned since 1978.

The footballing rivalry between the two nations goes back even further and England, who beat West Germany 4-2 to win the World Cup in 1966, will be hoping to avenge their last World Cup clash with Germany in 1990 where they lost an epic semi-final on penalties.

But Mrs Jarrold, who comes from Winningen about nine miles from Koblenz, said what matters most is the spirit in which the game is played and watched - not the result.

She said: “Some of the slogans I've heard I cringe at - it's not the right sort of spirit. The most important thing is that it's really, really positive on both sides - may the best team win and whoever loses walk tall as well.”

The motto of the Norwich and Norfolk/Koblenz Friendship Association is “understanding and friendship” and Mrs Jarrold said that was a “beautiful” way to look at tomorrow's match.

She said: “I've got a foot in both camps so to speak and that's the best position to be in really. We've been here before. The lovely thing is in the 1960s we had my sister and brother-in-law and we cheered at every goal. My brother-in-law was surprised when I cheered for England.

“We're in the same situation now. The most important thing is that it's fair play, played professionally and is enjoyable for players and supporters.

“Friendship and support is what matters. May the best team win and put your arms around each other whether winners or losers.”

Mrs Jarrold, who was made an MBE for services to the community of Norwich in the Queen's New Year Honours list, will be hoping to catch some of tomorrow's match while enjoying a concert in London with friends.

She said: “We shall be surrounded by music and football. We shall be cheering them on in a lovely atmosphere of the concert.”

The first contacts between the region of Rhineland Palatinate and the county of Norfolk go back to school exchanges as early as 1947, just two years after the second world war, and contacts between the Koblenz region and Norfolk were made in 1956.

But it was not until 1978 that the formal twinning documents were signed in Koblenz.

Two years later, the Norfolk and Norwich Koblenz Friendship Association NNKFA) was founded with the aim of promoting informal links between Norwich and Koblenz and in the same year the first visit to Norwich by the city's Koblenz partners took place.

See Monday's Evening News for pictures, reaction, and analysis to tomorrow's World Cup clash between England and Germany.

Have you got a story for World Cup Walshy? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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