Stalham Baptists’ sea-going football story goes viral
2018: The news about the football from Stalham Baptist Church which was found off the coast of Germany has now received wide coverage across Britain and Germany. Tony Rothe reports.
The story first broke on Network Norfolk on October 10, and since then has managed to travel further than the football itself! Keith Morris from Network Norfolk passed the story on to BBC news editor Patrick Byrne and the story went on line on October 13 at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-45827110
From there it went viral with national newspapers including the Daily Mail contacting Stalham Baptist Church. Josh Holebon, manager of Stalham Baptist Church Football Club, was interviewed for Sky Sports, and the BBC Radio 4 Today programme carried the story, as did the Eastern Daily Press.
Eventually Thomas Sellinger, who actually found the football, was tracked down in Germany with the story appearing on the news sites in Germany.
Jenny Payne from Stalham Baptist Church received an email from Thomas on October 15:
“You can imagine that I am very excited about what is happening around the story. We made it on BBC! I can not believe what is happening, but at least, when this little story is bringing people together, then it´s beautiful. And of course, I hope the football will be found. www.baltrum-online.de also reported about the publication on BBC! And they made another call finding the football. Great. Of course I´m planning a visit to Stalham. And watching a game of the team would be great, too. I started playing football in a club when I was 7 years old and it is still a great favourite to me.”
Stalham Baptist Church FC started in 1997 and plays in the Norfolk Christian Football League. They have appeared in a number of cup finals and won the fair play award in 1998, 2007, 2011 and 2016. Their best season was in 2001 when they won the league and cup double and won the cup again in 2002. They also won the Wroxham Road plate trophy in 1999 and then again in 2018.
This story has also appeared in Stalham's Community scene magazine.
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