In 2017, I interviewed expat Brits about how over the past five or six decades (and longer in some cases) British people have changed the sporting landscape in Munich (the wider context in the magazine was Brits in Germany, but Irish people have also been hugely influential, I hasten to add).
In recent years, I helped set up a new cricket team in the Munich suburb of Planegg. As the article explains:
The reason I was there, on that Munich cricket pitch, began with a remark a year previously, during a chat with a German friend. Anne Stoppok, a teacher, was updating me on her volunteer work with refugees and asylum seekers. Because some of the migrants were from places such as Afghanistan, my response was: “We should start a cricket team.”
Anne is remarkably engaged socially and she almost single handedly oversaw the team’s establishment and development. I hadn’t played at any level worthy of description for more than two decades but turning out for this team was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had since I came to Germany. Cricket is currently thought to be the fastest-growing sport in the country.
I also spoke to Jordan Macie, a Brit from Kingston upon Thames, south-west London, who is an integral part of Munich Irish Rovers football club. So integral that he’s also the director of football. This is a club that has gone from strength to strength since its inception in the 1980s by a group of Irish friends. Macie told me that, ‘a more accurate name for the club these days would be the Munich International Rovers. We have players from all over the world …’
Munich Rugby Club goes back even further, to 1977. Sam Cross, who grew up near the south-west English city of Bristol, and studied law at Oxford, is one of a long list of British and Irish expats to join the club. Like its football counterpart, it is very much an international set-up, and has had players from Australia, Argentina, France, Germany and even Brazil.
The article appeared in Spotlight 2/2018 and is available on Spotlight Verlag’s online shop
If you fancy playing for, or supporting, Irish Rovers get in touch with them via their website
Likewise, for Munich Rugby Football Club