Fell in Love with a Girl - Podcast

Here's a link to a podcast interview that was recorded during my recent trip to Portland with Shawn from the Fell in Love with a Girl podcast. We'd just come off the back of a three-hour discussion with the @Booked107 crew, and the podcast was recorded with the Portland Thorns game at New Jersey going on in the background. Look out for the penalty save that occurs about 22 minutes in! Another positive: I don't even sound too mockney in this one! I'm putting it down to the positive influence of a certain velvet-voiced Canadian...

Portland: Booked 107

A few photos from a fabulous Booked 107 event hosted by the lovely people at Cider Riot. Booked 107 is a Timbers Army outreach project that claims to have the largest 'soccer' lending library in North America!

I was very fortunate to follow in the footsteps of Bill Buford and Gwenolyn Oxenham by participating in a book talk and Q&A session. The session last three hours and included a live Skype link-up with Sönke Goldbeck, member of FC St. Pauli's Supervisory Board. I was looked after incredibly well for the duration of my stay in Portland; was fortunate enough to take in a game with the Timbers Army; and be able to forge links between the Timbers and FCSP – united in fighting fascism, racism, sexism and homophobia. 

A full report of the trip will follow shortly. 


NASSH 2017

An enjoyable presentation and discussion talking about FC St. Pauli's support for refugees at the 45th Annual Convention of the North American Society for Sport History at California State University, Fullerton. I was part of a panel discussing 'building communities through sport'. 

BOOKED! In Portland!

Booked Club: Pirates, Punks & Politics: FC St. Pauli - Falling in Love with a Radical Football Club
Date: 03 Jun 2017 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: Cider Riot! 807 NE Couch St, Portland, OR 97232 
Super-excited to be speaking for the BOOKED! The Timbers Army Library & Literacy Outreach Project next week. I am also lucky enough to be taking in a Portland Timbers game the night before. So it will be a great opportunity to compare progressive fan scenes either side of the Atlantic. Hopefully, there will be some special guests from Hamburg too linking up via Skype.

North American Society for Sport History

On Monday 29th May 2017, I will speaking at the 45th Annual Convention of the North American Society for Sport History. My paper will focus on FC St. Pauli's commitment to supporting refugees in Hamburg. You can read the abstract for the paper below:

Refugees United
German football and the refugee crisis: A case study of FC St. Pauli’s direct support for refugees and asylum seekers in Hamburg, 2013 – 2017
In 2015, the world faced its largest refugee crisis since World War II, with millions of families – from many countries including: Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya and Sudan – forced to leave their homes due to conflict and persecution. The ‘refugee crisis’ that unfolded saw 964,574 asylum claims registered in Germany in 2015 alone. At the height of the crisis, in the summer of 2015, around 1,000 refugees were arriving every day at Hamburg Hauptbahnhof (Central Station). The numbers alone are, at best, incomprehensible and, at worst, dehumanizing – reducing people to mere statistics and making them easy targets for discrimination and vilification by the media and politicians alike.
FC St. Pauli, a professional football club playing in Bundesliga 2, reached out to Hamburg’s refugee community. Based in working class district of St. Pauli, close to Hamburg’s docks and only a few hundred yards from the famous Reeperbahn red light district, FC St. Pauli has developed a cult status among football fans. Since the mid-1980s, the club and its fan-base have mixed professional sport with progressive politics; working together to campaign against racism, sexism and homophobia in football.
Through a case study of FC St. Pauli, this paper will examine German football’s overwhelmingly positive response to the refugee crisis. ‘Refugees Welcome’ banners are a common sight inside German football stadia, with many fan groups actively raising funds and awareness for refugee projects. FC St. Pauli and its socially active fan-base have been at the vanguard of support for refugees since 2013, when the arrival of a group of around 300 refugees – fleeing the civil unrest in Libya – drew support on an unprecedented scale for refugees.
On Friday 25 October 2013, at the end of a 0:0 draw between FC St. Pauli and SV Sandhausen 10,000 fans poured out of St. Pauli’s Millerntor stadium and joined a demonstration protesting against the Hamburg Senate’s decision to deport the city’s ‘Lampedusa Refugees’ (named after the small Mediterranean island off the coast of Libya where the refugees were detained by the Italian Government before their eventual arrival in Hamburg). Following the demonstration, a group of women who had played and coached with FC St. Pauli’s women’s teams, took the decision to set up a football team for refugees, called FC Lampedusa. With no official documentation, refugees were unable to play in established amateur teams in the city. FC Lampedusa gave them the opportunity to play competitive, organized football. When the crisis intensified in 2015, FC Lampedusa was able to offer the sanctuary of football for a new generation of refugees arriving in Hamburg. On 30 July 2016, FC Lampedusa were formally adopted by FC St. Pauli – providing both logistical support for the day-to-day running of the refugee football team and underling FC St. Pauli’s commitment to social change. FC St. Pauli’s support for refugees is not limited to Germany, inspired by the club’s position, supporters groups in Yorkshire, Glasgow and Barcelona continue – through the medium of football – to work with local refugee communities.
This paper seeks to clarify and critique football’s prominent role in the cultural acceptance of refugees in German (and by wider implication European) society. Set against a historical overview of fan politics in German football, it will also explain why football fans are at the forefront of progressive social change.


Turkish edition

Pirates, Punks & Politics has been translated into Turkish and published in Turkey. It is available to purchase here. The book contains a brand new foreword written by Daniela Wurbs, formerly head of Football Supporters Europe and – of course – who also worked at Fanladen St. Pauli. She details the links between FCSP and Turkish Antifa clubs. 

The Turkish edition has been organised by journalis, Tan Morgül - you can find him on twitter: @tanmorgul

Anarchist Book Fair in New York

A lone copy of Pirates, Punks & Politics spotted for sale at the recent Anarchist Book Fair in New York. No doubt, the work of our friends at @FCStPauliNYC

Nice mention

Nice to get a mention in a new book, Fußballfibel - FC Sankt Pauli by Fabian Fritz & Gregor Backes. It's a collection of writing from over 30 fans of the club, looking at their experiences supporting FCSP. Even better news is that the proceeds from the book are split between: St. Depri, FC Lampedusa St. Pauli and 1910 e.V. Museum. You can get a copy here.

Library pictures...

Wow! Stumbled across a copy of Pirates, Punks & Politics in my local lending library. Libraries are a vital community resource, the Conservative government are currently operating a slash & burn policy across the public sector which is putting many of our public libraries at risk. See an interactive map of planned library closures here: http://www.voicesforthelibrary.org.uk/closures-map/ 

University of Brighton

Great to be invited back to the University of Brighton (Eastbourne campus) to talk to students about FC St. Pauli and German fan culture. A really enjoyable session with great questions from the students. Hope yo see you again next year.
No border, nation, registration

Anarchist-leaning local activism against capitalist globalization!

Looking forward to the conference papers being made available. In the meantime, here's a link to the review of Harvard University's 'Soccer As A Global Phenomenon' conference I was fortunate enough to attend last year. Where I "portrayed the fans of St. Pauli as anarchist-leaning local activism against capitalist globalization" – that's a hell of a summary, not sure my presentation was as dynamic!

Available in the FC St. Pauli club shop

Really nice to see Pirates, Punks & Politics still on sale in the FC St. Pauli club shop this week. It's in esteemed company, alongside FC St. Pauli Album written by the fabulous club historian, Christoph Nagel, who helped me considerably in the editing stages of my book. If you are in Germany, you can get hold of both books from the 1910 e.V. Museum website here.

Pirates, Punks & Politics is now in its fourth edition. Thanks to Randall at Sportsbooks Ltd. for the continued support!

Half-and-half scarves

The 1910 e.V. Museum container has had a makeover!

Here's my report from a trip to the Millerntor to watch FCSP's exit from the DFB Pokal at the hands of Hertha Berlin. 
Scourge of modern football, well, one of them...

Harvard podcast

Here's a recording of a podcast I did with Steve Ortega and Daren Graves, both professors at Simmons College, Boston. It was part of Harvard University's 'Soccer as a Global Phenomenon' conference from April 2016.

Aside from being distinguished academics, Steve and Daren were fabulous hosts and their enthusiasm for football (sorry, 'soccer') was infectious. 

I'm mostly talking about FC St. Pauli and fan culture, although, at the end of the podcast, I do declare my undying love for Lionel Messi.

Football, bloody hell!

Here's my report from FC St. Pauli's first Bundesliga win of the 2016/17 season, 2:1 against Bielefeld. It includes a tour of the Millerntor's new tunnel decor, shown above.

Refugees United!

I travelled with refugee team, FC Lampedusa St. Pauli to an Anti-Racist tournament in the east of Germany. It was an inspiring experience. Read about it here.

Lübeck: Home of Marzipan

Here's a report from Lübeck, the actual home of marzipan. VfB Lübeck versus FC St. Pauli in the first round of the DFB Pokal. St. Pauli managed to navigate the first round of the cup, which is unusual. Plus, there were fireworks. Lots of fireworks. Read about it here.


National Football Museum

Here's a nice photo from The National Football Museum. Not just Pirates, Punks & Politics, but also possibly the last remaining copy of Modern Football is Rubbish! Thanks to André Bâbord for spotting it.

Everyone Welcome: FC Lampedusa St. Pauli

Photo: Peter Boehmer

FC St. Pauli's integrity is often called into question by cynical football fans and media alike. We are accused of being a sell-out; a marketing behemoth, milking the perceived 'coolness' of the skull-and-crossbones brand; a corporate cash-cow. Sure, there's some truth in the commercialism, but don't ever believe that the club has lost its core values or its soul.

Many German supporters' groups have been supportive of the 'Refugees Welcome' movement, many clubs have run programmes encouraging refugees and migrants to attend matches or have established soccer schools for youngsters. FC St. Pauli have expanded on this good work by formally adopting FC Lampedusa – a refugee football team. 

FC Lampedusa began playing football in 2012/13, set up to support the "Lampedusa refugees" who arrived in Hamburg after fleeing war in Libya. Since then the team has welcomed all refugees, giving anyone over the age of 16 the chance to play football in a safe, friendly and fun environment (they are also pretty good, as Yorkshire St. Pauli can testify, we lost 10-1 to them in May, and FCL never really had to get out of first gear)

The lack of official 'papers' bars the players of FC Lampedusa from playing in formal league competition in Hamburg, instead the club play in a series of friendlies and tournaments raising awareness about the scale and scope of the refugee crisis. 

FC St. Pauli have extended the hand of friendship and support to FC Lampedusa, who will now benefit from practical support in booking pitches and training sessions, supply of kit, logistical support and, of course, raising awareness. 

FC Lampedusa has formally become FC Lampedusa St. Pauli –  an announcement made in front of over 16,000 fans at the recent pre-season friendly at the Millerntor against Sevilla. 

Read more about FC Lampedua St. Pauli here.

FC Lampedusa St.Pauli fc.lampedusa@gmx.de
Facebook: FCLampedusa

Twitter: @FCLampedusaHH

Here's Yorkshire St. Pauli & FC Lampedusa St. Pauli

There's some people on the stage, they think it's all over...

Post-match discussion at the 50th 'Anniversary 'Live' Screening of the 1966 World Cup Final. An interesting discussion on German/English fan culture. 

Watching the match 'live' was a fascinating experience, to some extent debunking the mythology that has grown up around the victory. Once I'd adjusted to the lack of a back-pass rule (how quickly we forget the chaos that introduced my Sunday League team back in 1992!) what was noticeable was how stretched the play was: both teams defending their 18-yard box virtually from kick-off. The result was plenty of space to pick up the ball in midfield and run with it. For my money, Alan Ball was man of the match, Geoff Hurst a virtual passenger! Moore & Jackie Charlton a formidable partnership. Off the pitch, there was a complete lack of hysteria, cliche or extended metaphor from commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme – Clive Tyldesley would've injected more hyperbole into the early rounds of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

Okay, enough of this World Cup nonsense. The real thing starts on Monday night: VfB Stuttgart v FC St. Pauli. Forza Sankt Pauli!