Dear Dutch national team,
My name is Wouter Rexwinke, also known as ‘The Stripe Man’ together with Daina Zagata, known as the ‘Oranje Angel’, and we have lived in the city of Venlo since 2001.
I, Wouter, have been a fan of the Dutch national team since way back in 1988 when I attended the Netherlands vs. England game – which we famously won 3-1. Since then I have attended around 110 games, and will hopefully be attending a few more this winter.
Daina has been rooting for the Dutch national team since 2004, and her first game was actually against her country of birth Latvia. I asked her to attend, and she’s been a diehard Dutch fan ever since. I put out two sets of clothes for her ahead of that game, one in Latvia’s colours and one in the Oranje colours. Thankfully, she chose the latter.
Two years later we went to the World Cup in Germany. I made her a huge set of orange wings, and that’s how she became the ‘Orange Angel’. There’s about three metres worth of photos of her from magazines and newspapers wearing those wings in Germany.
We are going to Qatar for, hopefully, all three group games. This will likely be the last time Daina wears the wings at a tournament. They hold some wonderful memories but they are very difficult to carry around so it feels like the right time to retire them.
I still want to do the stripes for as long as I can – although in Qatar how good those stripes will look depends on the temperature. Hopefully they don’t just run down my face.
We hope to meet plenty of new football friends in Qatar as well.
Wouter and Daina