German Team Spirit

Matt K. – WuermliThis stuffed toy is a souvenir from the Football World Cup 2006 in Germany. Matt K. bought it during a trip to the Black Forest in the southwest of Germany and calls it Würmsche (little worm), as a reminder of the Hessian dialect with which he grew up.

It is one of the few objects that Matt brought to the UK when he moved here in 2009. He was born in Frankfurt and grew up in Marburg an der Lahn. His family still lives in Germany and although he misses them, he cannot imagine moving back to a culture he has experienced as restricting, and as overly focused on security and routine. The UK,  by contrast, he describes as ‘flexible and inclusive’.

Matt came to London to study for a Masters and PhD in game theory at the London School of Economics. After completing his Masters, he decided not to continue with the PhD and began working full-time for a venture capitalist company as an analyst instead. In 2012, he and a friend created their first start-up, an app called eatapp, which provides information on restaurants in London. The following year, he founded another company called startupmanufactury, which offers help to those looking to create their own business.

Having become accustomed to life in the UK, the Würmsche is a reminder of his national identity. It accompanied him to German pubs here in London where he watched football games with fellow nationals during the World Cup. It is his good luck charm and a reminder of what he describes as the ‘New Germany’. Matt believes that Germans admire the overt patriotism and strong national identity in the UK and suggests that ‘since the World Cup in Germany, we have also begun to redevelop a healthy and inclusive patriotism and national identity that was lacking until recently’.

Object Information

  • Year of Purchase: 2006
  • Place of Purchase: Black Forest
  • Producer: Nicci GmbH
  • Place of Production: Germany
  • Material: Polyester
  • Size: 15 cm x 4 cm
  • Colour: Black, red, yellow, beige