It’s been five and a half years since 111 Gründe, Mainz 05 zu lieben (111 reasons to love Mainz 05) was published in September 2013. Ever since there were moments and encounters that left me thinking: That would have been a great story for the book! One of these very special encounters happend over Twitter where I came to know Joe Bryant from Crawley, Sussex. The eleven year old has a huge crush on the German Bundesliga.
And it’s not just the game itself that he’s drawn to but also the stadiums. At age seven Joe started to built stands and over time stands became whole stadiums. He’s done eight so far, seven from the Bundesliga plus Anderlecht. And of course the home of the Zerofivers is one of them. His brother Harry helps him to make the videos in which he presents his buildings, his sister Ariel is not much into soccer but even though he got her to appear in one of the clips. Whenever possible Joe visits the ground before he builds a stadium and so he payed Mainz a visit in last september and the club showed him all around both the old and the new arena.
Mainz have been amazing and I am really looking forward to meeting the fans and hopefully seeing them win.
Back in Crawley Joe got right to work. He’s especially proud of the 05-stadium because it has so many details that he did quite well. He publishes pictures of his work on Twitter and by now is well known amongst fans. When Mainz 05 sold their special jersey for Fastnacht he made one from Lego on the green of his stadium. Joe enjoys the exchange with the fans very much and says he likes the ones from Germany better than those from the UK. So after his stadium was finished he really wanted to come back to Mainz to show it. Of course the game against Düsseldorf which marks the 05-familyday is the perfect ocassion and so the club invited the special littel fan.
Joe will present his stadium with roundabout 2.500 Legos outside the real one before the game, positioned near the VIP-entrance behind blocks D and E. He is quite excited and hopes to meet many fans. Likewise many of his Twitter followers are looking forward to meeting him in person. So, it is still soccer that writes the best stories. It unites people across borders. It gives an eleven year old fan of Ipswich Town the idea to build stadiums from the far-away-Bundesliga. And it brings Joe back to Germany this weekend where he will hopefully have many memorable encounters.