Friday, 4 May 2012

The Big Idea

Standing on the terraces, getting some food inside the ground and meeting the same set of lads for some average football on a cold winter night. Why would anyone not want a season ticket?

To contextualise my passion for watching football, and apportion some blame, I was first taken to a game when I was three years old. It was a Sunderland reserve fixture and I was taken home at half time as it was past my bedtime. My Dad then walked quickly back to Roker Park and took in the second half. The beauty of living 300 metres from the ground. I never decided to become a Sunderland fan. I was born one.

I'll be 33 years old this season and I still have a Sunderland season ticket in name, but truth be told, my Dad uses it each week and I am starting to wonder if I'll ever get to more than a couple of games a season. That's where FC Union Berlin come in. I've attempted to reject the pull of the Stadion an der Alten Försterei but it has finally won the battle. For the 2012/13 season I'm buying a season ticket. At €150 it would almost be rude not to. Union Berlin even play in red and white and you can have a beer on the terraces. With Hertha Berlin likely to be relegated at the weekend, next season will potentially have the added spice of a Berlin derby. A season ticket will guarantee I don't miss the Union home fixture this time around.

The Big Idea is to blog my way through the season and what better place to start than with the last away match of the season. On Sunday, Union make the short journey to Cottbus to play at the Stadion der Freundschaft (friendship). Five of us will making the short journey from Berlin - it'll cost just under twenty quid a man for travel and match ticket. Over 3,000 Union supporters will be there to see Union face Energie Cottbus. The initial tranche of 2,500 tickets sold out quickly and the club requested an increased allocation. I'll be posting next week about my first away game in Germany.

I'll leave you with a few lyrics from the song that inspired the name of the blog. Answers on a postcard for the name of the band.

Before the union did appear,
My life was half as clear.
Now I've got the power to the working hour
And every other day of the year.


  1. Very good start mate, I CANNOT wait for my season ticket to come through the post!

  2. Likewise. Your translation skills will be key to the success of the blog!

  3. An ST? Total assimulation. The Saint

    1. assimilation even! Comes from U and I being so close!

  4. Indeed The Saint! In many respects my assimilation has gone too far in other areas of my German life. I'll discuss those with you soon.

  5. Good stuff, mate. I am a Sunderland fan myself, but since I am Norwegian I only attend Snderland once or twice a season. I try to go to Alte Försterei now and then as well, last time was in April vs. Aue. Amazing atmosphere, I wish English clubs could learn something from the German clubs about how to create atmosphere!

    Very readable blog, I'll follow it!

    1. Kind words Askild. Glad you have enjoyed my blog so far. Great to hear of Norwegian Sunderland fans!

  6. Just googled Union Berlin 2012-2013 fixtures to see when they'll be released and your blog was the first result.

    I discovered Union Berlin whilst in Berlin for a weekend with two mates in late 2008 when they were playing at the Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sportpark; they beat Paderborn 3-2, coming behind from 2 goals down and scoring the third in the final minute.

    Am looking to return at some point this season (finally!)and will definitely be following your blog throughout the season.

    Eisern Union!

    1. Due to my lack of skills in the tech department I am amazed at that!

      Very pleased you enjoyed the blog and hope this blog becomes a way to meet people, like yourself, who come over for the odd game.

      I'll publish the fixtures with some comments about the 'big games' this month when they are released.