Berlin – Hagen Herold was just seven years old when he and his family moved from Berlin to Vancouver Island in 2007. A trip to see some friends a few years before was the decisive factor in their decision to switch continents, with his parents falling in love with the North American country. Vancouver Island, situated in the province of British Colombia, is actually the polar opposite of the metropolis on the River Spree. An idyllic, remote area, almost the size of the Nordrhein-Westfalen, with only roughly 870,000 people living there. Here, nature takes the spotlight. “There are beaches that go on for miles here. However, sometimes you will see bears whilst hiking through the forest. It’s really beautiful here,” the 20-year-old told herthabsc.de.
The native Berliner first developed his passion for football after he’d made the move across the Atlantic. After his younger brother joined a local club, Harold realised his own enjoyment for the beautiful game and decided to join his brother. However one thing was still missing: a favourite team. He loaded up his game’s console and flicked through all of the teams, before ending up at Hertha BSC; the club from his hometown. It wasn’t long before Herold switched from the virtual world to the real world and began watching the “Old Lady” on his laptop week in, week out.
A win on his first visit to the Olympiastadion
Due to the nine-hour time difference, the Herthaner has to wake up early in the morning to catch Hertha’s Bundesliga fixtures. A Saturday afternoon kick-off begins at 6:30 a.m. in Canada, and an evening game at 11:30 a.m. However, the 20-year-old isn’t just interested in what happens on the pitch, but also in the fans all around the stadium. “I always turn the TV on a bit earlier so I can soak in the atmosphere and listen to the club anthem. It’s a great feeling,” says the Herthaner in Berlin dialect. However, Herald isn’t alone in his love for the Blue Whites in British Colombia. Former Hertha striker Rob Friend is the Managing Director of local first division side Pacific FC.
Herold first watched his beloved team play in a 2-2 draw away at Hamburger SV in the 2011/12 season. The 3-1 win against TSG Hoffenheim on the final day of that season was a particularly special memory for him, as the club managed to survive relegation. The emotions involved in this game fascinated him and, even if the capital city club had gone down, his passion could never have disappeared. Just a year later, Herold visited the Olympiastadion for the first time. The game back in August 2013, again against HSV, ended as a 1-0 win for Hertha BSC, with Adrian Ramos scoring the winner. The Colombian celebrated in front of the Ostkurve, just a few metres away from the then 13-year-old.
The current Business student can almost count his number of visits to his beloved club on one hand. So far he has seen a draw at home against SV Werder Bremen, a loss away at Borussia Dortmund and two home wins, against VfB Stuttgart and 1. FC Nürnberg. Unsurprisingly, he is desperate to see the Blue Whites play again in the future. After completing his studies, he plans to move to the German capital and live there for a few years. “Then of course I will get a season ticket at Hertha BSC,” Herold says with a smile.