Detroit City FC & FC St. Pauli - A Different Kind of Football

As part of FC St. Pauli’s trip to Detroit in May 2018, I was delighted to host a panel discussion: “Detroit City FC and FC St. Pauli – A Different Kind of Football” at the Motor City Hotel & Casino.
In addition to the CEO of Detroit City FC, Sean Mann and St. Pauli President Oke Göttlich were also on the podium. Stefan Szymanski from the University of Michigan (author of Soccernomics), Jackie, a representative from DCFC’s Northern Guard Supporters, Christian Weiß from the FCSP partner Levi's and Ewald Lienen, Technical Director of FC St. Pauli.

The lovely people at the Fell In Love With A Girl podcast put together a recording of the event, you can listen to it here.

From St. Pauli to Detroit #FCSPgoesUSA

At the end of the 2017/18 season FC St. Pauli travelled to the US for an end of season tour. I was fortunate enough to tag along for the Detroit leg of the trip. This was no corporate brand expansion tour, this trip was about solidarity, forging international friendships and showing Trump that his brand of fascism won't be tolerated. Read about it in detail here.

A podcast by Fell In Love With A Girl discussing the tour can be found here


London calling Hamburg & Brighton rocks!

A busy week of talking all things #FCSP. On Saturday 21st October, Hamburg on Tour took over The Boiler House in Brick Lane to promote the city. I took part in a book talk in the afternoon, followed by my short-lived career as a chat show host, interviewing the wonderful Ewald Lienen. A last minute upgrade of venue to the main stage meant my plan to get fans to ask the questions had to be hurriedly superseded by some amateur questioning from me.

It was great to see Ewald again, he's an incredible ambassador for the club.

On Wednesday 25th October it was time to head to Brighton for a book talk organised by Whitehawk Ultras at the lovely Cowley Club in Brighton. Great to meet so many like-minded individuals fighting racism, fascism, sexism and homophobia down on the south coast. Great to meet people from Whitehawk and Eastbourne Town's Pier Pressure. 

Hamburg on Tour (with Ewald Lienen!)

Delighted to be speaking at Hamburg on Tour event at The Boiler House in Brick Lane on Saturday 21st October. In the afternoon, at 2.00pm, I'll be doing my first ever book reading (I've always tried to dodge them in the past!) and then, at 6.40pm, I'll be sitting alongside FCSP legend, Ewald Lienen, talking all things St. Pauli. Come along. 
Before that at The Zeitgeist on Friday 20th October at 7.00pm, I'll be listening to Ewald Lienen's Q&A with members of Lond St. Pauli. It should be a great evening. I'll bring some copies of the book along too!

Ten Years On: The Score Remains The Same

August marked ten years since my first visit to the Millerntor. Read my reflections on the last decade; the game against 1. FC Heidenheim; the Museum Wine Bar; and Thorsten Baering's Retrospective photo exhibition here.

The Heart of Portland, Oregon

Fans of Portland Timbers and FC St. Pauli have more in common than most. Read about fan culture in the Pacific North West here.

A massively overdue write-up of my trip to America, presenting at North American Society for Sports History (NASSH) conference at California State University in Fullerton and then discussing fan culture with Booked107 in Portland. 

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: 

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.