‘It would be a crime not to do so’ - Zimbo on his obligation to City fans
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Christoph Zimmermann feels a duty to do whatever he can as a Norwich City role model to help the wider community.
Zimmermann regularly took part in events with the club’s charity partner, the Community Sports Foundation, prior to the current lockdown but stepped in last week to personally help the club’s COVID-19 Community Project.
The big defender was on hand to deliver activity packs to a charity that supports special educational needs (SEN) families, providing long lasting care and support for children and young people who need it.
“What everybody has at the moment, or more or less everybody, is time, so it is good to use it,” he said. “To support others. I was very fortunate Norwich gave me my first chance in professional football three years ago and I wanted to not just play football but give my heart to it and be in it 100%.
“So with the club’s charity partner we can try and help the wider community.
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“I was positively surprised when I first heard about the work they do and the opportunities for players to get involved.
“That is why I feel it would be a crime not to do so because as a footballer it takes only a few seconds to pose for a selfie or write a little signature and that can make a supporter’s day or a week.
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“It takes something so little to make a difference when you are a footballer.
“If I was not playing for a football club and tried to help in this same way not so many people would be interested.
“Where I come from and the way I was raised I was always taught the best way is to help people and to share and to give and so that is basically the way I was brought up combined with the opportunity I have been given. No club in Germany or England allowed me to play professional football.”
Zimmermann, interviewed on Talksport, also reflected on his journey from watching Premier League highlights in his childhood to now playing in the English top flight.
“They were shown on a channel that no longer exists. Which tells you how long it must have been,” he said. “My whole family were interested in football and we loved the Premier League.
“It had a dynamic and a power to it I had not seen in any other leagues. It was shown about 10:30pm at night so I should have been in bed at that age but it was the one exception me and my brother had.
“Watching a young Wayne Rooney playing for Manchester United or stadiums like Old Trafford and Highbury.
“It had something so special to me, the names of all the stadiums, and now 17 years later being given the opportunity to play in the same league is more than I ever dreamt of or wished for.”