GERMAN couple Eva and Herbert Gertler fell in love with Caldicot when they visited with the football team from twin town Weisental. In fact they liked it so much that after a few tours they bought their own home in Caldicot, which they have owned for the past 23 years.

Now, sadly, ill health is forcing them to sell up and return to Germany.

For some time Eva, a retired schoolteacher, and Herbert, a former industrial chemist, have divided their year between homes, spending seven months in Weisental and five in Caldicot.

They have made many friends and during stays attended concerts by Caldicot Male Voice Choir, Severn Tunnel Band and Caldicot Operatic Society. They are also members of the local rugby, football and cricket clubs.

Back in Germany, where they have a daughter, Inge, and seven-year-old grandson Patrick, they plan to settle for a more conventional lifestyle.

Caldicot friend Haydn Davies, who called with Ron Stewart to say goodbye to the Gertlers, said: "We think they have been good ambassadors for their country. So many of us will miss them and wish to thank them for being such good friends.

"There will always be a welcome for them back here in Wales."