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Age is but a number for Euro 2024's oldest volunteer

89-year-old Reiner Spankuch helps guide football fans from all over Europe to their seats at Leipzig Stadium.
Last Updated : 25 June 2024, 14:27 IST

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Leipzig: Luka Modric is the tournament's oldest goalscorer and Cristiano Ronaldo has now played at six European Championships but neither can get even close to Euro 2024's oldest volunteer.

With a foam finger on his hand and a smile on his face, 89-year-old Reiner Spankuch helps guide football fans from all over Europe to their seats at Leipzig Stadium.

"I started volunteering in 2006, at the World Cup in Leipzig," Spankuch told Reuters.

"When I reached retirement age, I wanted to have a job, stay busy, move around and be among people. And it became what it is today."

Spankuch has since earned a wealth of experience, the role taking him as far afield as Las Vegas to volunteer at a table tennis tournament, a sport he still plays himself.

"I've been working at these events almost every year since 2006, six to seven events a year. And I'm still at RB Leipzig, volunteering in visitor management, and I'm a companion for bus trips to away games," he said.

"What matters most of all is the connection to the people, the fans. That's what enlivens the spirit, and I have wonderful experiences."

Spankuch, who turns 90 in August, believes this tournament is more enjoyable than the 2006 World Cup.

"The mood is even better than in 2006. What the Dutch did here, also the French. It's really the mood, despite the rain at the beginning," he said.

"The mood is great also among the locals. You have a feeling for that as a volunteer. And it will increase the better the German side becomes."

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Published 25 June 2024, 14:27 IST

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