Amongst Old Friends.

This started as a review of the trip to Hamburg for the first game of the season, but having struggled for weeks to finally try and word the experience in a way that does it justice, it’s less of a review of a game and more of a personal thank you…

There’s been many personal positives from my involvement with Yorkshire St. Pauli since its foundation just over two years ago. I’ve met many new people who i now class as good friends, i’ve introduced my friends and family to St. Pauli and i’ve also been privileged to have taken in a number of games in recent seasons (probably too many if you ask my long suffering girlfriend). Yorkshire St. Pauli has helped bring various people together from various backgrounds and in various ways.

This was apparent on the Thursday evening before the 1860 Munich game at the start of this season, as a mixture of all those types of people met up in St. Pauli for the first vaguely official organised Yorkshire St. Pauli meeting outside of Yorkshire itself! I won’t name people, but we had a mixture of people who had found out about our group locally, people who we had met through the UK St. Pauli forum, some who we had interacted with through social media and others who I had simply met on my travels previously and stayed in touch with! 9 of us (with two more to arrive on Friday too), all got together thanks to the magic of St. Pauli and Yorkshire St. Pauli. As the beer and chat (in various dialects) flowed, it was great to take a minute to step back and appreciate everything that had arisen out of this small fanclub several hundred miles away from the Millerntor.

On Friday (with a small hangover from the night before), I had permission from the club to take a look inside the new Gegengerade stand, which was given a makeover during pre-season by a number of volunteers. Rather than just a boring paint job, the volunteers have put together a series of amazing paintings which summarise exactly what St. Pauli is about. I have put together a video compilation of the videos i took, which can be watched below:

Before the game we all arranged to meet up again, and had planned to meet up with Nick and Shaun, who were making an early Friday morning flight. Unfortunately, their travel didn’t go exactly according to plan, more of which you can read about on Nick’s blog here. But thanks to Shaun’s driving skills and a quick dash from the airport they arrived just in time for a quick beer before kick off. 2 more people to add to the Yorkshire St. Pauli contingent, even if they are exiled south of the Pennines.

I won’t bore you with match details, because this blog isn’t about the average football, but about the amazing people that have come together and met as part of our group, to make it as special as it is today. But we won 1-0 under the floodlights and all was good.

On the way out of the ground and in the pubs that followed, I also bumped into other familiar faces, such as Johannes who i’d met on a previous trip and Micky, a Newcastle fan with a strong Georgie accent who has somehow got a job teaching English in Hamburg. If you ever hear a German saying ”why aye pet”, you now know why. I also startled a German in a YSP tshirt, who looked puzzled by me stopping him and giving him the last remaining YSP stickers in my wallet.

Thanks to everyone for making St. Pauli feel like home.