Norfolk

Norfolk church team's lost football found on German island

Man with football Image copyright Thomas Selinger
Image caption Thomas Selinger with the ball that travelled 250 miles across the North Sea and ended up on a Frisian beach

A football belonging to a British church team has been found across the North Sea on the beach of a small island off the coast of Germany.

Josh Holebon, manager of Stalham Baptist Church FC, in Norfolk, said it was a mystery how it got there.

He received an unexpected email last month from Thomas Selinger, who lives in Freiburg and found the ball when visiting Baltrum Island.

The ball was marked "Stalham Baptist" and he made contact online.

Image caption Baltrum is off the coast of East Frisia, close to the border with The Netherlands, while Stalham is on the edge of The Broads

"On a sunny day, as we walked along the dunes, I found a football with the inscription Stalham Baptist," Mr Selinger said.

"The football was wet and heavy. I asked myself where this ball was coming from, and later I researched and found the team on the internet."

'Complete mystery'

Mr Holebon, whose team has won the Norfolk Christian Football League fair play trophy three times this decade, said: "It's a complete mystery how it found its way 250 miles (400km) across the North Sea.

Image copyright Thomas Selinger
Image caption Thomas Selinger was visiting Baltrum Island when he found the ball

"Our best guess is someone took the ball to the beach in Norfolk and it went in to the sea and found its own way across."

David Child, one of the church's leaders, said: "Who needs a message in a bottle when you can use the world's favourite game?"

After he had taken the photo, Mr Selinger gave the ball to some children playing on the beach in Baltrum.

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