Hamburg does have a fantastic football following and culture, the second largest city in Germany have over the years had two major teams, HSV and FC St. Pauli. Two very different clubs with, and FC St. Pauli is one of a kind and this “little story” will be just about them.
FC St. Pauli has never been victorious club and not won the German Bundesliga, but they still have a culture, fans and followers that can be said to be in support for more than footballing reasons.
This is not just a football club, they do a number of sports and compete in rugby, baseball, boxing, chess, cycling, handball, roller derby, skittles and table tennis, they even have a marathon team. FC St. Pauli have 27.000 members and has a real massive place in their neighborhood and near community.
As mentioned earlier the club is in close rivalry with HSV, and the games are mainly known as the Hamburger Stadtderby, but FC St. Pauli also looks at Hansa Rostock as one club they are also close to, since the clubs are from the North and have met many times in the lower divisions.
The success on the field must say to be modest, and they have moved the elevator up and down between the third, second and top tier over many seasons. The club is videly recognized for their social culture as one of the countries cult club. No secret that they tend to be looked up on as a left wing political fanbase.
The cult phenomena appeared in the early 80’s when the club moved to their new stadium in the dock area of Hamburg close to the Reeperbahn known for their red light district and also a more working class area. The fanbase started to change and attracted people who then had a more raw and party based lifestyle.
Soon you could see skull and crossbone flags as they over the years are seen as unofficial signs and images of the club. The punk also got it’s saying going into the 90’s and a certain Doc Mabuse, a singer of in a band of such kind, showed his support in public and was influential in shaping this type of identity.
They currently play in the 2nd Bundesliga and was last seen in the top tier in the 2010/11 season and has since been down were they really like to be. Currently a bit of a struggle in 11th position before the season was stopped, but fans of this club does like to see their team win instead of being “easy to beat” and struggling in the relegation fight a division above, but of course not really happy if they have to go down to the 3rd, were they really not believe they belong.
Finland international Ari Hjelm is among their heroes and been described as one of their notable players. Hjelm played 100 times at full level for his country and twice in his career during the 90’s he appeared for FC St. Pauli. A bit unknown for the fans of the more major clubs, but anyway a great man of his time.
Former Cardiff City and Manchester United player Mads Møller Dæhli also had a number of seasons at The Millerntor. Dæhli left FC St. Pauli this January to join Belgian club Genk, and did well in brown colours as he re-structured his career in Hamburg.
Should also USA international Cory Gibbs who some might remember playing for Charlton Athletic. Gibbs played for FC St. Pauli from 2001 to 2003. Former Blackburn and Oldham defender Tore Pedersen also had a short spell with the club.
One of the greatest men in German football, former national coach Helmut Schon also had a spell with the club as a player being part of this “verein” from 1946 to 1947. Some might recognize the name Junior Hoilett, currently with Cardiff City, he played at FC St. Pauli on loan back in the 2008/09 season.
Paul Caligiuri is also a former player, the USA international with 110 caps had a spell at St. Pauli from 1995 to 1996, ending his spell with just 15 appearances and it was a short call in a career based in both the US and Germany with the midfielder being a key player at Los Angeles Galaxy in their opening years.
To follow up on all those great stats, facts and links on this club, always take a check at our club call section, enter here