Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Holmesdale Fanatics - Crystal Palace FC

Come on, feel the noise

We've written about the Brighton and Crystal Palace rivalry quite a bit on these pages. Admittedly, given the fact I followed the Albion for around 30 years - it's been a bit one-sided. So where to head for a right to reply? Well, there's only place to make a beeline for, and that's to Block B of the Holmesdale End at Selhurst Park, which has become home to the Crystal Palace ultras - the Holmesdale Fanatics.


Five years ago, a group of hardcore Palace fans, who'd become frustrated at the lack of soul at Selhurst Park and in football in general, formed one of the UK's first ultra groups. They drew on their experiences on the old Holmesdale terrace, combined with the ultra movement, and have now completely transformed the atmosphere at matches. Relative silence has been replaced by vast waves of sound.


In my opinion football would be nowhere without rivalry. I love the fact that Brighton and Crystal Palace dislike each other, it's one of Britain's top rivalries, and is always a surprise inclusion in related polls and surveys. So to find out more about their group, I donned a hard hat, crossed my fingers, and went behind enemy lines to interview them:


How long have the Holmesdale Fanatics been established? The group formed in 2005; made up of lads who had stood at the back of Block B (Selhurst's hardcore, standing section) since '99. We'd been going to Palace together as young kids since the late 80s and remembered the Holmesdale terrace well, and all felt in our lives we'd witnessed a massive decline in football culture. We wanted to make a stand against the threats of modern football, and fight back for the culture and believed by creating a strong unit, based on the way hardcore would congregate on terraces, that visual and vocal dominance could naturally stem from this section.


Did you have any dealings with Simon Jordan? No. The Jordan regime was to the absolute detriment of fan culture at Palace; he was always distant, out of touch and sidelined the fans, treating them as a commodity that would keep coming back, despite being treated and thought of poorly.

We had our toughest battles through the Jordan regime; massive clashes with stewards who were given the freedom to run wild; several key members were being thrown out every other game and we'd often remove the group banner in protest and leave after half time as it was unworkable – it’s a testament to the strength and resolve of the group that we made it through this period, and now enjoy the respect and freedoms we deserve.

Presumably, your work is appreciated by other Palace fans and the players now? It took some time for the group to be accepted and recognised; but that's understandable. Any Ultra group should have to prove themselves and field criticism, especially if you use that term; it's natural that it's challenged and questioned at first. The best way to show what you're about is action on the terraces however. We also always have had a strong core drinking together before/after the game, so we maintain a visible presence which is a good way of creating a focal point outside the ground.

Did the events of last season bring everybody at Palace closer together? Despite the obvious fear and uncertainty - the administration period was the perfect antidote to the 'Jordan model.' The true spirit of the club emerged, and the negative 'player ratings' culture was replaced with one of encouragement and acceptance of players, especially young players, who too often receive the brunt of negativity.


It was a rare glimpse of the unity created when fans are placed at the heart of the club again; a feeling that is sadly strangled out of the modern game.

What is your away support like in terms of numbers and noise? Does your group get attention from away fans? On its day it can be better than anything in the UK, for its non-stop, ultra-led atmosphere; Pride Park, Vicarage Road, and particularly Hillsbrough stand out as atmospheres you'd tell your grandkids about. We organise group travel to every away fixture, and take the away banner on the road with us, using it as a focal point on away terraces.
Almost every club comments on the changing face of our support, as we make an impact home and away. We take pride in showing the very people we were driven to act against, how it should be done.


On the road to Birmingham, 2012.

Is the mindset of British fans changing do you think? Slightly..The recent craze of flares up and down the country is testament to changes in the mindset of the British fan. Supporters are becoming bored and disillusioned with the way football has been pushed by bSkyb, and the authorities. There is little or no fun left. When you compare the old style of support and look at the demographics, it's completely different. Young people are in the minority now, either priced out or simply having better stuff to do, as stadia are generally over policed, over priced and soulless. I feel sorry for the average young fan growing up in this climate, never knowing how football crowds can inspire and stay with you for life.


Can an Ultra movement/scene develop in the UK? We have proved its benefits, and that it can be done - but it has to be done right and based on deep-rooted principles; not just singing sections looking to buy into the top-end wackiness they perceive happens abroad.

Although we believe Celtic's club culture to be perfect breeding ground for the movement, the Green Brigade have also shown it can be done; despite repressive legislation. Would be mad for the UK scene if we were somehow to meet.

We can't think of much better than a proper scene developing in the UK. Prior to the group, some fixtures just felt meaningless, with nothing at stake on the terraces other than momentary bragging rights over a victory. With the casual scene in the 80s, you'd have a strong youth movement governing the culture, so there would be a lot at stake still with firms and groups of lads representing and running the gauntlet away from home and on the terraces. This died out with the rebranding of the game; and a lot of the tensions were lost and eventually manifested in weird online dialogue.

Away followings we see at Selhurst now are made up predominantly of pie-munching replica shirt wearing men, families and maybe 2-3 rows of hardcore piping up with outdated songs every other couple of minutes. Ideally, there would be organised groups of well dressed, switched on lads having pride in representing behind their group banner away from home, wanting to outdo the home group in every aspect; and this knowledge of the scene would drive competition producing amazing results and an incredible, electric climate. There would never be a drab fixture this way; and also, maybe more importantly - the ability to unite as one positive movement and mobilise becomes suddenly possible. Despite rivalries, groups could come together with a national voice at the state of the game and cause mass demonstrations against legislation and the way the game is being forced - reminding people that football is nothing without fans.


Are Brighton still the No.1 enemy? We've all been praying for a cup draw for the last 5 years! We've got some old school lads in the group who have many a fine story about running Brighton up and down the South Coast!

As for this season - Millwall have definitely emerged as enemy no.1. It's always been a real local hatred of Millwall, rivalries that start off at school, and are visible in Bromley, Beckenham and Penge on a Saturday night. Charlton will never be a rival, their football culture is non-existent - weird little club.

You have a good relationship with the ultras from the Panthers 1983 of Panionios Athens. How did that come about? Our model is a perfect blend of casual/ultra support - it's a foreign concept, originally based on an English ideal, that we've re-adapted to South London culture. Our friendship is with The Panthers of Panionios in Athens, Greece. Core members of each group visit each other's club once or twice a season, and the cultural exchange is massive. Their group has been going since '83 and has incredible organisation, depth and structure. They have respect and understanding for aspects of English style, and we've got huge respect for their culture.


Side by side. Holmesdale Fanatics with the Panthers in Athens.

Do you have any relationships with other ultra groups aside from the Panthers? A number of the lads within the group have strong personal connections; groups at Steaua Bucharest (Shadows on the Southside) and Torino (Granata) being the notable ones. We've entertained a fair few lads from groups across Europe though, who are dead interested to see how the ultra movement works in England. There's still massive respect for our dwindling casual scene, and also admiration for how we still manage to operate despite the toughest rules anywhere in Europe.

What is the HF attitude to violence? We feel the casual scene and Ultra movement are fundamentally driven by the same set of principles; but the execution is different. We have a good mixture of casual and ultra minded people within the group; and people generally dress well, there is a blend of casual and ultra gear at the front of Block B, with Hf caps, scarves, shirts, polos on display as well as decent casual clobber!

In terms of similarities, we still get that massive buzz of representing away from home with switched on, like minded lads, working as a unit. We've never looked for trouble but have defended other fans and our own principles when called into question.

The top end execution is obviously where the differences emerge between the two scenes, as a vocal and visual presence is integral to our beliefs. We treat flags/displays as the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in terms of the culture, and use them simply as a sign of strength and in marking out the group’s territory; but could operate equally well without them.

What's been the group's biggest achievement to date? We don't think of anything as an individual achievement; but one big development that's been gradually building and gaining momentum since 2005. We've gone from a group of 6 lads to having around 80 members, 200+ in our section and many more fringe people who play an active role in the group, be it backing chants, helping with displays or just furthering the movement. The first home game this year against Leicester saw 8,000 in the Holmesdale on their feet singing ‘Pride of South London’ which is a new one we introduced – magic. It's probably the biggest ultra-led atmosphere in Britain, as has been catching on round the entire stadium recently, which is mad to see.

How do you see the group developing from here? Its progressed massively in the last two years, after overcoming some epic struggles and obstacles; and with moving to the front of Block B paying off, allowing us to represent and provide a strong focal point at the front.
The youth finally have a strong and positive movement to believe in and be a part of. The June protests in The City (Lloyds Bank), saw the pulling together of 150+ young lads, who spent the day creating a visual and vocal presence in support of their club and anger at the situation. They're being brought up in a positive climate of activism and are growing up being proud to be a part of such a movement. It makes us laugh on a matchday when we spot little groups of young lads, dressing well with a tidy scarf tied up Ultra style!

We feel this is the most positive, important movement since the casual scene in the 80s for youth activism; there was little or nothing to aspire to since the early 90s, which co-incides with Sky rebranding and rewriting the basic values and principles of the game. We want to expand but remain tight, focused and true to our principles.


HF at Selhurst 'save our club' protest - break in and occupy.

As well as backing the team, do you protest against anything such as high ticket prices? Is there a political element to the group? The group is highly political by its very nature; although we don't dictate a political stance as other groups have done across Europe. The group was born out of anger at the repressive nature of the modern game and society as a whole, and we've vocally and visually conveyed these feelings since our formation.
My favourite display from back in the day, when repression was at its highest was an ‘HF Ground Rules’ messaged banner, with 6 images behind it each banning: Police, CCTV, Money/capitalism, internet culture and all seaters – needless to say, some of the lads didn’t make it till half time on this occasion!

Last season 6 of our members were targeted by a heavy-handed police operation and thrown out of the Holmesdale stand, being given year long bans. As a result we organised a protest march against the Police at the next home fixture, and circulated a petition that received support globally, with groups from Argentina to Russia backing the cause.

We also played a big part in the protest to draw attention to the club's plight when it looked like Palace would be liquidated. A HF crew forced open the gates, leading the protest into the stadium and then into the stands, where Palace fans united behind our messaged banner, belting out chants.

We organise a yearly HF Player of the Year event, in which the chosen player comes down to our local to receive the award and have a Sambucca with the lads! I remember reading an online report of a bemused QPR fan, who saw Neil Danns outside the pub with us after last year’s fixture; you don’t get that anywhere else, but it’s massively important for bridging the gap between fans/players which has been greatly widened since the Sky takeover in 1992. We continue to fight against authority, modern footballing principles and look to restore the true spirit of fan culture.


Neil Danns accepts HF player of the award 09/10

Would you like to see a return to terracing at English football grounds? Of course - it would instantly shift the emphasis away from people attending looking 'to be entertained' to people attending and being called upon to play an active role, roughing it up a bit!

Regulations in this country are the most repressive anywhere in the world; and it's down to a lack of organisation and unity that this was allowed to happen. The French & Italian governments would gladly enforce similar laws in their respective countries if they thought they could get away with it.

This country has a massive track record of creating repression under the mask of it being 'for your own safety,' and there is no doubt the laws are more about control and monitoring than any perceived safety threats. Unfortunately, people are too easy to accept that 'rules are rules' in this country; rather than questioning and challenging them.

As a group however, we stand home and away; and feel Block B is one of the proudest most hardcore sections in the UK. We will always insist on standing, despite these utterly bizarre 'Health and Safety' laws.


Into the Valley. Charlton away. 

How much planning does it take to pull off a display in the Holmsdale End? Running the group is a non-stop, full time job. Merchandise, travel, media, displays..it's 24/7. We're lucky to have our own local which a lot of the work is carried out in, group members come and go, adding to the preparations once ideas have been finalised. The matchday starts at pub opening time, as we pack out the pub and build the atmosphere from there. It's full time, knackering, dominating but 100% rewarding. A two tier display with everyone having jobs outside this takes about two weeks to pull together and costs about a grand. People enter the stadium and see the final result but don't realise the blood sweat and tears that are behind it.

Do you have a view on the "staged" displays at Chelsea on Champions League nights? There is a totally synthetic, top-down movement at the moment to try and recreate/buy into the atmosphere that people are exposed to at European matches. We've seen some fucking shocking developments this year - the Sheffield Utd official website encouraging fans to sing the 'Dale Cavese,' club funded card displays, free flags for Chelsea fans. It's at the complete opposite end of the specturm to the deep-rooted ideals that have created such organic displays and atmospheres on the continent.

Ultimately, club's have outpriced the common fan, they've repressed him, banned him, and made him know he's not wanted - so these ventures are a desperate and plastic attempt to paper over the cracks.

Despite ill-feeling towards the Mancs at Palace, we respect the movement at FCUM for taking an active stance against modern football, as they no longer recognise their own club. Chelsea support in contrast gets more laughable each year; their new breed of fan craves and expects success at the cost of the club's true culture.

Presumably the HF are reserving their biggest display of the season for the home match with Millwall on October 16? It feels a massive build up for this one already; been a long time since we played them. Will be interesting seeing the Ultra led atmosphere at Selhurst up against their outdated, 1950s 'knees up mother brown' type support.

EFW has featured ultra groups from Aberdeen, Celtic and York City.

We've also written two articles on the Brighton and Hove Albion v Crystal Palace rivalry both HERE and THERE.

- feel free to comment below -

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

A mind-blowing interview…maybe the best piece I've ever read about Brit football supporter culture…didn’t catch the guy’s name, but he’s articulate as hell…Spinoza or Marx ...couldn’t have crystallized rather ephemeral social issues any better…

--Chaz, New York

Martin Searle said...

Superb work, Danny. Really superb. Ditto the HF, who really have made a difference to the Selhurst experience. And Chaz - are you the same Chaz for whose GF I once sorted a Palace shirt?

Ben Zich said...

Interesting interview. Watching only PL games on telly I thought this kind of support died off in England. Im very impressed. Ultras make the difference in the stadia, theyre one of the reasons for paying so much for a live match.
Ben from Dortmund, Germany

Anonymous said...

avoids discussing the physical aggression (a polite euphamism for violence)which also seems to be central to the ultras concept

Martin Searle said...

@Ben If you judged the game by the Premiershit alone, you'd never realise that real football fans exist beyond the plastic corporate Murdoch-driven hype.

@Anonymous the second There IS no violence in the HF's activities. Obviously this is not the case in Italy and Argentina, to name but two, but it is true at Palace. I was around for the terrace 'physical aggression' of the 70s and 80s, and I know several people who were, er, very involved. (Some of whom may or may not have had a few games of tag in Hove Park with Danny's mates). None of that is happening now. Not least because the authorities stamp hard on things. As it happens, the guy who let off the flare after the last home game of 2009/10 got community service of x00 hours, a lifetime ban from Selhurst Park, and a 4-8 year ban or so ( I really forget exactly how long)from any professional football game. he has to report a police station when England play (eg the other night in Switzerland) despite never having been to an England game!

Anonymous said...

Lol! Funniest You Tube clip I've seen in ages.

Ben Zich said...

@Martin Searle Im quite aware of that. As beeing based in Germany I can only watch PL games on telly, so I never saw jumping supporters and choreographies as in Germany or other countries in Europe in english stadiums.

Ali O'Halloran said...

Great interview, Danny. The HF are having a massive influence on the English scene. I think the smaller units in the Championship which are trying their hand at an Ultra style group, Leicester and Ipswich for instance, are heavily influenced by Palace. English fans need something new and different and ultimately something a little more creative. Hopefully, its going to take off and they'll be groups all around and up and down England.

I think new groups have to develop their own style, not just mimick another group. A lot of aspiring groups seem contempt with copying groups like Palace, Stanley etc. The concept of being Ultra is about being unique-- I believe, and its important people know about that.

P.S. I'm going to Reading away with Palace on Saturday. Hopefully to see an immense ultra spirit in that souless bowl---the madjeski!!

Ben said...

Very interesting interview - not least the profound disgruntlement with Jordan. Have to say, though, that when I travelled to Selhurst with Newcastle last season, the Ultras seemed to consist of a handful of spotty teenagers trying to be intimidating by banging a drum and then bouncing around under a flag. One chap rather lost his rag when politely asked to leave, clobbering a couple of coppers before being wrestled to the ground. If that's what 'bringing back the atmosphere of the 80s' means, then perhaps we're better off without it.

Herman said...

Quality support shouldn't be mistaken by choreography. Quality support should be built based on spontaneous crowd reaction.

The ultra culture is alien to the true English football culture of the past. This fake behaviour isn't better than what we see at Stamford Bridge.

Anonymous said...

Sorry MARTIN,

Of the measly dozen UK lasses I’ve 'dated': 3 Spurs, 1 Motherwell, 2 Liverpoolers, 1 Derby Cty (she always said "DAAR-BEE", stupid, huh?!), 2 Man U, and a John Terry reject's sister-in-law (she gave me herpes, but was thoroughly Chelsea!)

…and the other 2 couldn’t find Crystal Palace on a map of Yorkshire....

…Cheers
Chaz

Phil said...

So this is the same Crystal Palace, who despite not caring about Charlton jumped on a train at Sydenham and attacked women and children, then acted like they'd won the league when they fiiinally beat us a couple of years ago? I've never seen any evidence of "Ultras" when we've played them either.

Anyway, fair play. I regularly travel to Italy for games and have just got back from South America, if we had anything close to their organization, fanaticism and colourful enthusiasm I'd leave The Valley very happy on each occasion.

However, I don't think it is possible here. It's too late for this kind of support to catch on, with ticket prices, TV exposure and over zealous stewarding getting worse each season. You can't even get a flag in most grounds, let alone a flare. It maaay be able to catch on but I'd imagine only at non-league clubs, eg. Aldershot had a good go of it in the Conference.

Hopefully I'll be proven wrong.

Ally said...

I find it difficult to take a movement seriously that at the same time as espousing "grass-roots" support and anti-capitalism expresses contempt for families at games, shows a laughable nostalgia for the moronic 80s casual scene and fixates on being "well dressed". Setting yourself up as a crusader for the rights of the common man then turning up to games in an £80 polo shirt manufactured in Bangladesh by children is bloody silly.

There are some good points about what these guys are doing, but the interviews softly-softly approach does no favours to a complex issue, and the easy evasion of the violence questions is worrying.

BTFM said...

Wow, could this guy feel any more self-important? You're a football fan son, get a grip!

Cracking piece as ever Mr Danny, and the world would be a very dull place if we all had the same outlook.

StephL said...

Excellent stuff, and some very good points there. Don't know if these guys are checking the EFW blog regularly, but I'd love to know more about their relationship with the Torino fans, as I know some of them very well (Granata Korps).
Steph - Brussels

Anonymous said...

what an absolute ton of cunt.

Anonymous said...

what an absolute ton of cunt.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear...talk about seetting yourself up for a fall...wait until you hear what a true crowd sounds, looks, and feels like. I guess your build up will include getting the excuses ready ..."oh my aunts cousin is getting married", "my nan's died for the fith time", "my pocket money won't stretvh that far".... keep 'em coming. The Lions are coming to take over you ground again.

Anonymous said...

Ultra tramps

Embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

millwall as usual will rip slap you all over smeghurst

Anonymous said...

Flag waving 'new football' fans. How 'very palace'.

You silly little mincers wouldn't know what a real atmosphere and support was if it came up shoed in the fanny.

Get your note books, video and tape recorders ready for a lesson in REAL support from REAL supporters on the 16th of October.

Anonymous said...

i feel compelled to call this absolute fairy of a man a cunt. you cunt. on the morning of the 17th October you'll be nursing your wounds thinking to yourself of how much of a cunt you now look like. this whole wanky ultra gang fad will disappear very soon once you've realised how small and insignificant you are. Thank you and goodnight.

Anonymous said...

These blokes are well tasty and I for one am going to bottle it big time on October 16th. I shall be giving this one a swerve chaps - sorry but I ain't messing with the HF.

The Mad Axe Man of Olde Bermondsey Towne

HoF said...

no way would i mess with those fellahs, they look like the top boys

seriously, you are an embarresment to south london, please all move to brighton :)

you couldn'teven take a seat off stuwall

Anonymous said...

Millwall you are in for a suprise come October. Me and my two boys, Eight and Six (stupid names I know!) have been preparing for this for months.

We've learned the words to all of the Dave Clarke 5 songs and have been colouring in toilet paper red and blue to throw at you. Six did save us some time after the fifth roll suggesting we buy some blue toilet roll so we only have to colour in every other sheet red.

The HF will outsing, outdance and outrun you all afternoon long!

ULTRA Number 1 said...

I am part of the ULTRA movement and wanted to come on here to defend it in the face of some of the comments above.

What you don't appreciate is the buzz of spending all week learning words to new songs and making new flags with cool words on, it really is something all the family can become involved in.

Then there is the fact you get to make like-minded fwiends from all over the world, we even had people from Russia backing our recent protests against people being thrown out. RUSSIA I tell you, and their ultras are incredible, I have spent many an evening dreaming of one day being like them.

But the main attraction is of course the match day, selotaping together red and then blue quality street wrapers to make pretty displays. Making sure my specially ordered flares have arrived, and then the thrill of taking my top off and singing completely new and inventive songs (that we stole from foreign teams)

You lot just don't get it, especially those 'knees up mother brown' lot. I can't wait to out sing you, £100 says we get more people to take our shirts off than you.

Booyaa.

Anonymous said...

Thank God that at the Den we don't need a special group to whip up an atmosphere.
I have taken friends who support large Premiership clubs to the Den with crowds of less than 10,0000, and they admit it sounded more like 20,000.
I don't know why it's like that at the Den. It's in our blood I guess. Give me Millwall over Palace any day.

Anonymous said...

Typo. That should have been 10,000 you mean?

Anonymous said...

You are without any shadow of a doubt the most embarrassing supporters in the entire history of football in this country. I have more respect for those anorak wearing trainspotters down the road. In fact, I have more respect for scrounging benefit thieves. Carry on calling us scum, knuckle draggers etc. I'd rather stand side by side with a loony Millwall supporter than with a face painted, foam glove wearing cunt that inhabits your ground every other week. Shambles.

Lazylion said...

What a nightmare. My wife just caught me reading about the palace ultras and looking at the youtube clips. I tried to hide it and pretend I was looking at porn but I don't think she fell for it. I just hope I can regain her trust and respect.

Anonymous said...

You absolute group of arse bashers

Nigel said...

Im looking forward to the visit of Millwall so much that i went out and bought a new pair of Tesco jeans and some brilliant white Hi- tech trainers (as the article states it's all about taking pride in one's apperance). I've ordered my dripple bib off the internet (for when they wheel Dougie Freedman out) but that hasnt come yet, and most exciting of all is im sitting here typing this in nothing but my Edgar Davids replica top. Up the eeeeegirls

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but can't you see this whole joke is everything that is bad about modern football culture. You make a lot of big brash claims and make some very dodgy generalisations but what it boils down to is a bunch of lads copying, to name one off the top of my head, Italian fans. There's nothing unique about it - especially inventing little ditties to the tune of White Stripes 'Army of One'. You have the front to criticise Millwall as 'scum' and '1950s knees up mother brown style support', after all but glorifying a return of hooliganism yourself. You sneakily hide behind your pretty little banners because you don't have the bollocks to come out and say you like a tear up and in truth, would probably run a mile at the slightest hint of trouble. Football supporting passion should be spontaneous and not choreographed and rehearsed. Give me a 'knees up' any day rather than waving my shirt around my head and reading from a songsheet. What an absolute embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

honestly, take a look at yourselves, a really long hard look at yourselves, step back a for a moment and think.......... yes you really do look like a ton of cunt

when they drop you'll look back on this whole sorry episode in your life and think why the fuck wasn't I born Millwall

blue lion said...

i have genuine concerns about these people they seem to be ready to advocate total world domination in a very casual manner i have never been so terrified since being forced to watch mary poppins as a child, i can guarentee you on the 15/ 10/ 10 i will not be at palarse the organised chants demonic bouncing up down satanic flag waving.
you cunt's get a life

Anonymous said...

Ive ad me jellied eels and a glass of beer, phwaor me old mucker cant wait to get me Brass bands dirty. go on you slaggg

Excuse me sir but i fail to find one way in which my "old mother brown" style is outdated

Anonymous said...

What's this? The one stolen laptop in Bermondsey being passed round for the inbreds to practice their typing? Fuck off Scumwall

Anonymous said...

Scumwall pikies; fake bright pink Hollister gear coming to a town near you soon! here comes the rag and bone man; bring out ya tat!

Rapid Vienna said...

i´ve been to villa park with my team two times now.

there´s no football culture in england anymore - nothig.
if you look at videos from youtube e.g. "last day of the kop" you can feel emotions and love for the game, the teracess and the club colours.

these days you can read signs inside the staduim beggin you not to swear, otherwise you loose your seat. ( seen on whiteheart lane)

horrible - england, britan was the brithplace of football culture and nowadays you have burried it in a deep grave.

there are two problems:

1) modern football - well explained in the interview

2) old lads tryin to live something, they cannot live anymore.

you have to go back to the beginning and bring up new culture.

i pull my hat for thoose guys tryin to bring back emotion in your country!

best regards.

Rapid Vienna

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJOXeclQm1k

pyrrho said...

There may be a lack of atmosphere in the premiership but there have been plenty of visitors to the Den who have come away impressed at the way their teams melted in the face of Millwall’s support. See comments below:
I loved the way they support their team but the old fashioned intimidation of everything remotely linked to the opposing team, they barracked loudly the ref whilst trying to also sway him their way, I watched the way they mercilessly slaughtered the linesman (as they ran the line the fans would get up out of their seats to abuse them, like watching a mexican wave), they roared their support from all sides, they roared their abuse of the county players .... they turn the ground into ... well ... a Den and I loved it! proper old fashioned raw working class fans who hate anything except their own, good as gold outside though and had a giood natter with a few after.

Dion Dublin was spot on about the intimidating atmosphere helping Millwall, as he said Town players were nervous taking corners & throw ins due to the flack they were getting.

Millwall fans see the Den as the ultimate place to watch Football and have a real pride about the place.

"We constantly hear players say that 'our fans ' are the 12th man well I think Millwall fans absolutely proved that point on Tuesday

Spoke to a mate who went to the game , he has been to over 70 league grounds watching Town over the years & he said the atmosphere that Millwall created was the most intimidating he had ever been in

The Millwall fans had a plan make so much fucking noise as to intimidate Huddersfield fans/players , did you see the shit our players were getting at corners & throw-ins.

fantastic intimidating atmosphere produced by their fans last night,
until the final whistle, pitch invasion,booes by own fans,fighting with stewards on pitch whilst police stood watched in their formation, trouble by the tunnel with town players?

Dion Dublin "The Huddersfield wingers are scared to go to the touchline because of the noise the Millwall fans are making"

Daily Mail "Last night I witnessed one of the most powerfull displays of support ever seen at a football ground. When one side of the ground finished chanting, the next side took over and the melody continued all night. Millwall fans have a tainted history, but last night they were truely magnificent"

Yorkshire post
Not only did the Lions lose just once on home soil all season, but their Den home is without doubt the most intimidating arena in English football.

Mirror "On a breathless night with hearing aids at warp factor seven, Steve Morison sent Millwall swaying up Wembley Way again. Nobody cranks up the volume louder than Millwall, and the Lions' determination to end their play-off hoodoo was fuelled by a brand of fanatical support once enjoyed by dictators."

You may have noticed that we lost in the play-off semi to Millwall last year and the telling factor as far as I was concerned was the atmosphere at the New Den. On their day, the fans at Elland Road and the Galpharm can certainly lift their team, but Millwall in a crunch game at the Den are something different to anything I've ever experienced in the UK or Europe.

Pound for pound, they are the best I've seen at sheer intimidation, and it comes from all three sides, whether young/old/male or female. 15,000 fired up 'Wall puts a full Old trafford to shame.

I don't know anything about the mental strength of your team, but if they have the necessary "bottle", they will need it. There were one or two of our lot who were too scared to venture near the touchline.

pyrrho said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pyrrho said...

There may be a lack of atmosphere in the premiership but there have been plenty of visitors to the Den who have come away impressed at the way their teams melted in the face of Millwall’s support. See comments below:
I loved the way they support their team but the old fashioned intimidation of everything remotely linked to the opposing team, they barracked loudly the ref whilst trying to also sway him their way, I watched the way they mercilessly slaughtered the linesman (as they ran the line the fans would get up out of their seats to abuse them, like watching a mexican wave), they roared their support from all sides, they roared their abuse of the county players .... they turn the ground into ... well ... a Den and I loved it! proper old fashioned raw working class fans who hate anything except their own, good as gold outside though and had a giood natter with a few after.

Dion Dublin was spot on about the intimidating atmosphere helping Millwall, as he said Town players were nervous taking corners & throw ins due to the flack they were getting.

Millwall fans see the Den as the ultimate place to watch Football and have a real pride about the place.

"We constantly hear players say that 'our fans ' are the 12th man well I think Millwall fans absolutely proved that point on Tuesday

Spoke to a mate who went to the game , he has been to over 70 league grounds watching Town over the years & he said the atmosphere that Millwall created was the most intimidating he had ever been in

The Millwall fans had a plan make so much fucking noise as to intimidate Huddersfield fans/players , did you see the shit our players were getting at corners & throw-ins.

fantastic intimidating atmosphere produced by their fans last night,
until the final whistle, pitch invasion,booes by own fans,fighting with stewards on pitch whilst police stood watched in their formation, trouble by the tunnel with town players?

Dion Dublin "The Huddersfield wingers are scared to go to the touchline because of the noise the Millwall fans are making"

Daily Mail "Last night I witnessed one of the most powerfull displays of support ever seen at a football ground. When one side of the ground finished chanting, the next side took over and the melody continued all night. Millwall fans have a tainted history, but last night they were truely magnificent"

Yorkshire post
Not only did the Lions lose just once on home soil all season, but their Den home is without doubt the most intimidating arena in English football.

Mirror "On a breathless night with hearing aids at warp factor seven, Steve Morison sent Millwall swaying up Wembley Way again. Nobody cranks up the volume louder than Millwall, and the Lions' determination to end their play-off hoodoo was fuelled by a brand of fanatical support once enjoyed by dictators."

You may have noticed that we lost in the play-off semi to Millwall last year and the telling factor as far as I was concerned was the atmosphere at the New Den. On their day, the fans at Elland Road and the Galpharm can certainly lift their team, but Millwall in a crunch game at the Den are something different to anything I've ever experienced in the UK or Europe.

Pound for pound, they are the best I've seen at sheer intimidation, and it comes from all three sides, whether young/old/male or female. 15,000 fired up 'Wall puts a full Old trafford to shame.

I don't know anything about the mental strength of your team, but if they have the necessary "bottle", they will need it. There were one or two of our lot who were too scared to venture near the touchline.

Anonymous said...

What an absolute bunch of cocks you wont know what or who hit you when we come rooling in to divehurst park you bunch of mugs. Get your on ideas instead of copying them silly cunt from abroad

Anonymous said...

If Millwall think what the HF are doing is bad then they must be doing something good!

I can't honestly think of a club who actually cares about Millwall...They don't even care themselves.

To anybody that doesn't know who Millwall are (there would be a lot of you). There just some two-bob club who think there god's gift. There really not. Ask anybody who is not a Millwall fan about Millwall and they'll tell what a shithole of a club it is :)When you relate Atmosphere to the English leagues you never associate it will the likes of Millwall.

Well done HF, your the best example of atmosphere coming back into the English game. I really do hope you beat Millwall at your place. A club like that deserves to be liquidated and back to playing there good ol' chums Gillingham :)

--Jim, Stoke fan

Anonymous said...

Quality post Stoke fan, spot on!

Can Millwall also stop moving into Palace territory for a 'better way of life' - you're damaging house prices

Anonymous said...

How sad you Millwall lot are... atmosphere at the Den? dont make me laugh

Anonymous said...

See you soon ultras when 4500 Millwall come and take the piss yet again.

Anonymous said...

how embarrassing

Anonymous said...

What a nightmare. My wife just caught me watching the YouTube clip of the street dancing. I tried to hide it and pretend I was looking at porn but I don't think she fell for it. I just hope I can regain her trust and respect

Thamesbank said...

Unbelievably gay, article is a load of b*llocks and Palace are a team full of trainspotting weirdos.

Anonymous said...

"Interesting interview. Watching only PL games on telly I thought this kind of support died off in England"

This kind of support never existed in England. The choreographed jumping and singing, flares, and banners that are trying a bit too hard (why write 'No Matter What' in that style?) do not sit comfortably with me.

Anonymous said...

made me laugh what that millwall fan said atmosphere at the den being intimidating when watford done u 6 -1 at the den and outsung u fucking dirty pikey soapdodger

Federico said...

congratulations to the HF from Italy. Anyway, we get live Championship games every week over here and I must say I normally enoy the atmospheres more than the Premier League matches. I mean in the PL, the game and passion look both buried (I just enjoy Manchester and Liverpool derbies). But if you look for some true English football, lower leagues are the best places to breathe it. Come on football league! =)

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWCy9znXnJ0

Says it all really, now will you stop?

Anonymous said...

Millwall the laughing stock of London - just wannabe 'working class dockers lads' but youre just muggy Kent boys..'jog on Millwank'

Anonymous said...

Can't relate to the "ultra" culture at all, they're organised but that's about it, full of spotty 16-year-old kids trying a bit too hard as well with their over-rehearsed choreographies. Football culture as we knew it in England was at least a spontaneous and had a bit of banter, think you lot take yourselves a bit too seriously. Why copy what the Europeans are doing and do it badly? Stick to what you know. Hope Millwall showed you up for what you really are and that you see what a decent atmosphere really is on New Year's Day.

Anonymous said...

We are Feyenoord old school lads who watch a game at Millwall - very disappoint! no atmosphere at all!!! like a library!!

Respect to crystal palace for keeping up the fight!

Anonymous said...

WE FUCKING HATE MILLWALL, WE FUCKING HATE MILLWALL

Anonymous said...

fuck off millwall, is a joke we only get allocated 1,800. HF would run you all over south london.

Anonymous said...

Millwall=cunty club

IndianaGorman said...

A cracking read the best blog i've read about the comparison between modern day football and old-school football!! pure class

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most laughable articles I have read, you just couldn't make it up. Selhurst park is about as intimidating as a morris dancer, yet here are these "Ultra's" trying to drum up some atmosphere from a bunch of pathetic, foam hand waving, face painted chimps. Keep it going though you Ultra's, we all need a really good laugh from time to time!

Anonymous said...

Palace has best atmosphere in football league

respect from a Cardiff lad

Anonymous said...

jumped up millwall pricks living off grandads rep jealous of the atmosphere down the road eeaaagggllesss

Anonymous said...

ahahahahaha millwall are full of spotty 12 year olds lead by disabled old men, who give it, but run with the brighton you fukin mugs

Anonymous said...

you millwall cunts you are chatting so much shit about you fucken shithole of a den!!!!! it all about the palace

Anonymous said...

PALACE HAS NO ATMOSPHERE AND HAS TO RELY ON SOME DRUM BASHING 2 BOB GEEKS WHO COULDN'T RUN A BATH. I'D BE MORE SCARED TO WALK PAST THE WOMENS INSTITUTE HEAD QUARTERS!!PALACE ARE AND ALWAYS WILL BE..... NOTHING

Eddie 21 said...

Palace is another rival for AEK since they teamed with one of our enemies in Athens Panionios.We fucked them twice this year and i hope they get relegated and stay there