Monday, 27 October 2008

Your European Football Weekends

We all love our German European Football Weekends:


Our pals from Royal Antwerp before the Hamburg v Manchester City UEFA Cup Quarter Final.

Pat looking quite good considering his 'one (trolley of beer) for the road'.

Royal Antwerp the club have a silly fixation with Manchester United - hence the actual supporters of Antwerp have formed a long term bond with City.

Rule 6a on page 12 of the EFW handbook reads thus: when visiting HSV Hamburg one must visit St Pauli for a photo opportunity beforehand.

Here is a group of 'Veilchen' fans about to watch their team (Erzgebirge Aue) take on Fortuna Düsseldorf in the German Division 3 (14:03:09).

Here's their away following in the ground.

Fortuna Düsseldorf play in a ground (LTU Arena) that holds around 50,000 but only get crowds of around 12,000. A bit odd for Germany. Don't let that put you off going to Düsseldorf however, it's a tremendous City for sinking a few beers.

Evidently they do have some fans (see above).

Here's EFW man Steven - from Belgium - full marks for the logo our kid!

Brighton fans Justin & Ian struck gold by getting tickets for the Schalke 04 v Borussia Dortmund derby - in the away end. I'm pleased to say that the EFW team played a small part in helping them obtain the tickets. Here is Justin sinking a nice cold beer inside...

...and here is Ian with a grin that says "I'm at one of the best derby matches in the world"

The Schalke 04 fans who I have to admit aren't are favourite team here at EFW HQ.

The lads attended the match with members of EFW favourites The Unity.

Another German EFW this time undertaken by Graham and his pals from Scotland. First up was a trip to Borussia Monchengladbach.

This is the terrace at BMG. Famous for it's terrace surges when a goal is scored.

Of course nobody goes to Germany for just one match. Graham - Queen of the South fan by the way - also went to see Arminia Bielefeld. Here's there South Terrace packed to them there rafters.

Graham and the lads inside the SchücoArena. Second in from the left is none other than Kevin Kerr. Scottish International Kerr now plays for Bielefeld. I might send this one into Heat Magazine....well the Scottish version - possibly.

It's taken a while but finally we get our first glimpse of the Rebels Choice - St Pauli. Our pal Jim Stewart took in a match at the Millerntor Stadion.

According to Jim "It's a cracking atmosphere, three sides standing and the ground looks like something from the third division in the eighties. Really friendly crowd and with the music blaring outside it felt as much like a concert than a football match".

Evidently, the tallest man in Germany was also at the match!

Another German double header for Brentford fan Ray. He kicked off at Hannover v Stuttgart. Tickets easy to pick up on the day by the way as the EFW team found out a few seasons ago.

Then Ray pitched up at Hamburg v Armenia Bielefeld. Ray reckons this would be a great place to start for anyone setting off on their first EFW adventure. Great atmosphere, stadium and plenty of beer to be had. Again the EFW team experienced a drunken weekend here a few years back.

Jimbob went to Wolfsburg to see them beat Bochum 2-0 (07:02:09). Good to see this one as 16 of us are travelling out for an EFW stag do here in May.

It was a freezing February evening. He wouldn't have been anywhere else. It was just perfect.

The Bochum fans.

The Volkswagen Arena by day...

...and by night. You might think this one is a bit of an arty shot. Jimbob tells me it was 'accidentally arty' though as he was having problems with his flash! You can catch up on some of his other travels on his splendid website Euro Football Cities.

Brighton fan Ian McLellan has staked an early claim for EFW Dad of the Year. He took his son Jack to Borussia Dortmund v Bayer Leverkusen for his 10th birthday (31:01:09).

The match finished 1-1 in front of *gasp* 73,700 fans.

Do you think Jack enjoyed his present!?

Happy Birthday Jack and welcome to the wonderful world of European Football Weekends mate!

Kilmarnock fan Murray travelled to Germany for a couple of games recently. He kicked off a Bochum v Cologne. One of his favourite grounds.

The Cologne fans were out in force.

The Bochum fans showing us all how it should be done.

Murray also went to see Borussia Dortmund v Borussia Monchengladbach who are his German team of choice.

He said the 'yellow wall' above and the whole atmosphere was everything he'd expected and more.

Here he is in the away end. No messing about there Murray!

Preussen Munster v RW Essen sent in by my friend and yours Joris from the lowlands of Holland.

The Rot Weiss Essen fans arrived in good numbers.

Francis Rossi from Status Quo.

The away fans making their own entertainment.

Pap from America went to his first ever game in Germany last week (07:11:08) at the RheinEnergie Stadion. Cologne beat Hanover 2-1. Pap has now joined the growing list of us in appreciating the joyous and winning combination that is German football and beer.

Hello to you! Check out the floodlights at Cologne.

Pap also took in FSV Mainz 05 v Ingolstadt (09:11:08). He tells us that everyone was friendly, the fans were brilliant and of course the beer (Kirner) was splendid there as well.

The Mainz fans in full on 'You'll Never Walk Alone' mode. You can click on the photos to enlarge them by the way.

Here's our man Pap checking out the Bayer Arena.

Being a legend, Pap managed to sneak in to check out how the ground improvements are coming along.

Continuing with what would appear to be the best week of his life, Pap also put in a show a Vfl Bochum's home match with Werder Bremen.

Pap outside Bochum with his new best mate.

What do you mean he never went to Berlin!? Of course he did!

Pap the snap took this one from the foot of the Olympic Flame.

Oh you're kidding me!

Clearly not (Schalke 04 this time).

Well of course he went to Kaiserslautern.

Pap for President anyone!?

Nick (Brighton fan) took his wife to be Tamsin to see Hertha Berlin v Werder Bremen. That's one lucky lady in my book!

Patrick (Royal Antwerp fan) enjoyed a bit of Alemannia Aachen v Mainz 05 (20:10:08)

Patrick's shot of the Tivoli Stadium.

Sadly this old ground which is one of my favourites is being replaced soon. No doubt, for a large soulless arena.

Lieven again at the Rontgen Stadion, home to FC Remschied. They ply their trade in the Landesliga Niederrhein-Gruppe 1 (VII). Naturally I'd love to go there!

The German fans putting on a show for their match with Wales at the Commerzbank-Arena, home to Eintracht Frankfurt (Nov 07).

For as long as I live, if people keep sending me photos of Europe's biggest terrace then I will keep posting them on these pages. It's our old friend the 'Yellow wall' of the Sudtribune taken by Justin nearly two hours before the Borussia Dortmund v Schalke 04 local derby (Sept 08). What ground in England would be that full two hours before kick off!?

Here is Justin (Brighton fan) who had a brilliant weekend and can't wait to go back. He said it was "everything English football should be".

Here is his pal Ian who is also an Albion fan and went along for the ride as well. The actual game was a classic, Schalke taking a 3-0 lead before BVB came storming back to draw 3-3 with a last gasp equaliser.

Don't worry, we haven't gone all cultural on you, it's only the Olympic Stadium in Berlin from the outside so you can all breathe again. Sent in by Brentford fan and all round good egg Ray.

Ray saw Hertha Berlin v Werder Bremen. No doubt he also sunk some delightful German beer and paid about a tuppence ha'penny to get in.

Ray again, this time at the Weserstadion for Werder Bremen v Borussia Dortmund. Ray goes to a game abroad once a month and frankly who can blame him!?

Werder Bremen fans in giant flag action - check.

Chris (West Brom fan) travelled to Germany for VfL Osnabruck v Union Berlin. For less than £10 you can stand on this terrace and soak it all up.

The Osnatel Arena has had a bit of work done to it since this match in April 07. They've added a fancy new stand with violet seats of course.

Here is Chris watching the match in his WBA shirt and beer in hand. Cheers or should that be prost!

The 'Yellow Wall' of the Sudtribune in the Westfalenstadion. Taken by Brentford fan Ray prior to the Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich match in August 2008. The largest terrace in Europe. Mmmm...

Giorgio (Lazio fan) from Rome sent in this photo taken at the Karlsruher v Bochum match in August 2008. It sums up German football for me.

More Karlsruher v Bochum action. Who doesn't love the unfurling of a giant flag at a game!?

Murray from Scotland sent this in from the Arminia Bielefeld v Borussia Dortmund game in May 2008. It would appear everybody loves a German European Football Weekend.

Murray also sampled some pre-match beers in the Schuco Arena beer garden prior to the match. I want to go there now, this minute. Fire up the jet pack!

Killie fan Murry at Werder Bremen v Bochum (Feb 08).

Kilmarnock fan Murray (right) and Joerg take in their German team Borussia Monchengladbachs away game in Munich.

Swede Per-Gunnar Nilsson from Kristianstad at the Frankenstadion, Nurnberg prior to the Ghana v USA World Cup game in 2006.

Murray, Alan & Joerg loving every moment of being dressed head to toe in Borussia Monchengladbach gear whilst sinking a few pints.

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