Wednesday 18 March 2020, 14:57

Bryant's Bundesliga Lego stadiums and the Door of Doom

  • 11-year-old English boy builds Bundesliga stadiums out of Lego

  • Many clubs have invited him to visit them in the real stadiums

  • ‘Door of Doom’ poses the greatest threat

When Joe Bryant goes on a journey with one of his big Lego stadiums, the main challenge to his construction comes very early on in the trip.

The 11-year-old from Cowley near Ipswich, who turns 12 at the end of March, has become something of an expert in making Lego replicas of football stadiums. He has taken a liking to the stadiums in the German Bundesliga, showing a real attention to detail in his work – for example adding a little billy-goat (the club’s mascot) to Cologne’s home ground.

To date, young Joe has built the stadiums in Bremen, Berlin, Nuremberg, Cologne, Mainz, Augsburg, Bochum, Freiburg, Leverkusen, Monchengladbach and Gelsenkirchen (Schalke), with the only one outside Germany being Anderlecht.

Why should a young English lad have a particular penchant for Bundesliga stadiums? "When we were on holiday in Turkey, we wanted to watch one of Ipswich’s matches, but we could only find the Bundesliga so we sat and watched with some German fans and that was really cool," Joe says to "The German stadiums are more exciting. They all look really different and the football over there is great."

The various Bundesliga clubs gradually became aware of his work and invited him to show off his models in the actual stadiums, with Bryant’s creations finding their way into a number of official club museums. Apparently more than a few Mainz fans have been asking in the club shop whether the Lego version of their stadium is available to buy, but Joe is not looking to start up mass production.

His YouTube channel, however, does include time-lapse videos of his building projects, his older brother providing technical assistance in that respect.

"The clubs in Germany are amazing, they make him feel like a mini-celebrity and are very generous. It's a very proud moment when you see your son on the pitch with a great model and the fans are applauding," his father Phil Bryant adds. "We had a very special moment in Bremen when at half-time they announced that they would keep the stadium in their museum and the fans went crazy."

Joe tends to have three or four stadiums built at home and they remain intact until either a club asks to keep one or the young architect needs the pieces for a new project, with both fans and the clubs themselves sending him photos for him to model the stadiums on.

He uses exclusively Lego bricks, even though some stadiums require very special pieces that can only be ordered online. "All stadiums have at least one bit that's extremely hard," he explains.

Each of Joe’s stadiums also has to withstand a critical test before it sets off on its journey to Germany. "It has to go through the Door of Doom," says the 11-year-old, referring to his bedroom door which is too small for the constructions to pass through. The stadiums have to be tilted to get through the door, requiring a lot of delicate poise every time.

He is currently around half-way through building Stuttgart’s stadium, with the project after that set to be decided by a poll on his YouTube channel. "My friends want me to build Premier League stadiums and I’ve also had requests for the Camp Nou and other ones from Peru, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina," he says, but first of all he wants to complete a full set of Bundesliga 1 and 2 stadiums.

It sounds like he will have a fair few trips to Germany coming up in the near future…