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St Pauli FC
|Opposition | Celtic Games|
BackgroundCeltic and St Pauli fans have had a burgeoning friendship now since around the 90s. Some fans over-analyse the relationship, putting it all down to close political and ideological sympathies etc, but the real truth is more down that we just both like to have a good party!
They have become very influential for Celtic supporters, and the Green Brigade have made strong links with their supports and have learnt a lot from them in how to organise mass fan support (chants, singing etc) at games as well as giant displays. The Celtic song "We love you" actually derives from a St Pauli song.
An annual jaunt to Hamburg (Germany) is usually organised between our clubs' supporters for a party/piss-up which is highly enjoyed and recommended to all.
Origins of St Pauli & Celtic friendshipAccording to SvenHH from the CelticMinded forum, the origins developed as follows:
"The first ever contact was between us and the lhads from the NTV (Not the View) fanzine. I will thank them for the rest of my life to give me the possibility of being a part of the old firm in the old jungle (RIP). THIS experience was the beginning. A short time later we got the contact to the TAL-people. In the next years the contacts and the common activities were made with the TAL-lhads because we both find ourselves on the same level in political things. [Sven, St Pauli]".
Regardless of any political sympathies/links certain fans may have (mostly due to anti-fascism as St Pauli are a left-leaning club), for the vast majority of fans politics has never been on the agenda. Instead, its been a steady diet of drink, football and fun being the only real topics of conversation and action. NTV fanzine itself is a non-political fanzine.
In Nov 2009, Celtic were to play Hamburg S.V. away (St Pauli's city rivals) and with a large number travelling over to the match, a large contingent of St Paul fans followed Celtic and went to the game also. Hamburg fans in retaliation did a card display of a Union Jack with the Northern Irish chant "No Surrender"! Antagonistic, but in retort the Celtic fans chanted joint St Pauli/Celtic taunts throughout the match and it all felt more like a local derby. With the (in)famous Reeperbahn [Street] based in the St Pauli area of Hamburg, everyone had a great time and this match cemented our relationship. In return, many Celtic fans went the next day to the St Pauli home game v Dusseldorf which all very much enjoyed.
To mark St Pauli's Centenary, in May 2010 St Pauli and Celtic finally arranged a friendly match together. A great occasion doubly as St Pauli had just got promoted back to the Bundesliga. A wonderful day & occasion, hampered only by some Celtic fans unable to make it over to the game due to cancelled flights because of an Icelandic volcano eruption! (match link).
Long may the friendship last!
Why Celtic? for St. Pauli FansMany friends, many other Supporters of FC St.Pauli Hamburg or other German football clubs have been ask why we have a strong affinity to Celtic Football Club and its supporters. Also on several occasions around European Games or home games of Celtic we have been ask by the Celtic supporters themselves why we, as a German and non-catholic, support Celtic ? The answer is on one hand very easy but on the other side not.
Celtic-Supporters are special, they are unique in its behaviour, in their views, political opinions and are mostly tolerant towards other religions, style of living or look. They are proud of their Irish roots, their foundation by Brother Walfried but also are not clerical to non-Catholics. To look a bit closer what makes Celtic Supporters so special I have to go a bit back in the history of following Celtic, as a German football supporter from FC St.Pauli Hamburg.
In the end of the 80´s the supporters of FC St.Pauli were following their club in the 1st league of Germany for three years and from a crowd of 3.500 it grows up to 20.000. There were a lot of squattered houses and a long left-wing tradition in the district St.Pauli, which also influenced more and more the supporters of the club. We were starting to be famous for being alternative, left-wing and bringing new political views (the german stadiums were infiltrated by organised fascist parties and hooligans) to the terraces. The first non-hooligan or rightwing Football Fanzine was started (Millerntor Roar) and the fight against right-wing, racism and fascism in football makes us known in whole Europe (the St.Pauli-Fans against Rechts-Sticker were sold more than 2 million times).
From London one of the main active St.Pauli-Supporters was invited to speak in front of Football Supporters in England and on this night he first get into contact to Celtic Supporters and it was a long night and the special link between similar football loving people starts. After that he introduced more and more St.Pauli-Supporters to have a look at the people following Celtic and the games in Bern, Ekeren, Neuchatel, Lisbon, Cologne, Dortmund, Paris, Zuerich, Lyon and so on let the friendship between both parts of the supporters growing up. But why do we feel comfortable with Celtic and their supporters ? Beside the contribution of tolerance against other football supporters, the contribution of left political ideas into the conservative and nationalist football scene the development of the fascination of the Celtic fan-scene was formed by another way of facing the club (independent of sporting success).
Normally, for supporters of a football team, the most important thing in their life is success, being top of the league and the best team of the world. The Celtic supporters pay for fight, stake and showing pride to play for the hoops is as much important as success. In the „unsuccessful“ times of the mid nineties with being second behind Rangers and leaving European cups early, the supporters backed their club and team and gave credit to the players when they tried everything. They were not booing, yelling their or the opponent team. They give credit to the better opponents and still applaud their hoops. That was impressive at so many games and teach us a lot. The same behaviour Celtic Supporters show in the streets, bars and cities of the European host. They fight against the bad reputation of Football-Fans. Being awarded as best football supporters in 2003 for their behaviour in the UEFA-Cup-Final in Seville was no wonder for us, because this is the way how they behave since years and what makes them so special.
But also they are not like sheep, who just follow one leader or accept all orders, who won´t stand for their rights. They fight against injustice, police oppression and undue behaviour of their own or opponent supporters. Staying together as a unity as Celtic Supporters against attackers. These could be violent and aggressive attacks by hooligans or violent elements from other teams or attacks of the club board against the views, opinions or traditions of the green and white hoops. The different initiatives, like "Celtic Fans against Bigotry“, "Racism“ or "Fascism“ are good examples.
But not only their own problems are interesting for Celtic Supporters. Also the fights against oppression, for independence movements in Europe or the world is a special thing about parts of the Supporters of Parkhead. This is another positive thing about Celtic Supporters. They are well educated about the movements in Palestine, the Basque Country, Chiapas or South Africa and support them as well as they did for the Irish struggle for decades.
Another impressive and astonish thing is the world wide spreading of Celtic Supporters. Through their Irish roots there are Celtic Supporters and Celtic Supporters Clubs in nearly every corner of the world. On a trip through South America I was in a village with 1.500 inhabitants in Bolivia. There was an Irish Pub and the owner was a mad Celtic Supporter. In Seville during the days of the European Cup Final 2003 we met Celtic Supporters with Irish Roots from New York, Australia, Argentina and also the Antarctica (he works there).
Through Celtic i first get contact to Irish people from Belfast, Dublin or Derry and they invited me to visit there country. In a very warm and friendly atmosphere they teach me more about irish history and the herewith attached history of Celtic. Never met a more traditional and historical Club than Celtic. Anywhere in Ireland you meet Celtic Supporters in Celtic Pubs who are organising trips to the games (which are all away games) and have a really strong affinity to the club in spite of hundreds of miles away from Parkhead. Irish people went all over the world in the last hundred years but take their roots and their club with them. It is fantastic to meet so many different Celtic Supporters from many parts of Europe at the games. On one occasion i went to an Old Firm with a Supporters Club from Dublin and the long line of buses, the crowded ferries were marvellous.
When i firstly visit a game of Glasgow Celtic I was surprised of the friendly and peaceful atmosphere they create in Cologne without giving up their political ideas. It was a mixture of hard drinking, singing, celebrating, behaving like guests in a foreign country and city but still stand to their Irish history, for their anti-racist opinion and to their tolerance towards their own people and the people which showed up.
They always make us feel comfortable and welcome. I have been travelling through European football a lot and at mostly every club in Europe you find aggressive, scaring people. But the history of Celtic, the Irish roots make them behave different. In 1996 we organised a double decker bus to Glasgow for a weekend and a home game of Celtic against Motherwell. The whole weekend was magnificent. There were Irish Rebel Bands playing in every pub on every night and we got in contact with so many Celtic supporters who were also political thinking people and not only consummating football. There was a spiritual kinship. Celtic Supporters form their club, their audience, their life of football.
Many football fanzines exist, many fund-raising gigs have been organised for different political or charitable reasons, this all makes it more than worth supporting this special club from abroad and be a part of the community around Parkhead.
By Heiko Schlesselmann, Supporter of FC St.Pauli Hamburg
Article from Randalstown CSC website
- St Pauli (Front Magazine)
- St Pauli (BBC)
- St Pauli: Why are they so popular? (Übersteiger)
- Misc Articles
- 18.05.2010 St Pauli 0-2 Celtic (St Pauli Centenary match)
Latest page update: made by joebloggscity
, Mar 7 2013, 1:43 PM EST
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