Roland was involved with youth football for nearly 20 years and during this time he organised the exchange trip on behalf of SLV Wittlich/Luxem. As we are fully aware, it takes a lot of passion to persuade countless families in the Wittlich area to host a boy or girl from Earls Barton / Wellingborough. This was something Roland had in abundance.
Many friendships have been formed and continue to be, and many independent personal visits have occurred where these friendships have expanded beyond the initial exchange visits. This is as a result of the time and effort Roland put in to keep the friendship going over the many years.
Over the years, Roland had enriched the lives of around 1,000 children and many adults. This was so much so that the children of the original boys have now been involved with the twinning of their children, and others who first visited as children have now attended as adults and revisited the families they stayed with. I don’t believe Roland really appreciated this fact.
During the 21 years of the twinning trip Roland introduced us to many of Germany’s sights and traditions; Internationals and Bundesliga football, German
theme parks, castles, typical German towns and food which most of the boys, girls and adults have enjoyed and appreciated.
On the reverse we have introduced him to Wembley Stadium and “that” cross bar from 1966. He became a true Cobblers fan with several visits to Sixfields and even travelling over to the play off final of 2013. He loved Warwick Castle, Cambridge, London and all the other places he visited.
His knowledge of football was incredible. Not just German football but English and indeed world football. If you spoke to him about a club he would know its history.
Roland will be sadly missed by all in Earls Barton and Wittlich. We hope there is someone in Wittlich with the same drive and enthusiasm as he had, thus continuing his legacy of bringing families of Wittlich and Earls Barton together.