There's no place like home
(Gotta keep on and be strong)
Wuppertal SV 2-0 FC Kray
Stadion am Zoo, Wuppertal
Sunday 4th August 2013
The basic idea of a football league is that each team plays each other twice during a season. Once at their home ground and once at the other team's ground. It seemed to work well.
It doesn't seem to work for Wuppertal SV.
Since last season they've been relegated, entered insolvency proceedings, chopped the word "Borussia" off the club name and the authorities have decided their fans can’t be trusted to visit any town that doesn’t have a Monorail. (1)
The latest in the Wuppertal Fashion Disasters Collection.
Their first two away games of the season, at Germania Ratingen 04/19 and the AiTinpot baiting SV Hönnepel-Niedermörmter were postponed as the Police and the slightly sinister sounding Zentralen Informationsstelle Sporteinsätze (Central Information Agency for Sport) decided that Wuppertal has over 300 hooligans and that it was too risky for them to play away games at such tinpot grounds.
Of course the Wupper Smurfs.
750 season tickets had been sold prior to the game, which represented a first opportunity to show that the town is fully behind Wuppertal SV. I'd have been all over it if my suggestion to re-brand as the Wuppertal Monorailers had been taken on. Let it go Kenny, let it go. Turns out the locals are behind the club and had, via pathetically inferior transport methods (car, foot etc), turned up at the ground in their kick off delaying droves.
Token match shot.
A delayed kick off which nearly asphyxiated a 1,000 or so Wuppertal fans. Shortly before the scheduled kick off a huge terrace covering flag was unrolled. 20 minutes later, 32 degree, 1,000 beer fuelled blokes under a bit of plastic....it can’t have been pleasant underneath there. The flag then opened out to show past players of Wuppertal including.....whose names I needn’t mention as I’m sure we can all mention at least 17 past greats. Eh?
"Has someone trumped under here?"
The Wuppertal greats there. I decided not to zoom in, we know them all by name already.
Wuppertal have got a big, big problem with their supporters though. They sing "You'll Never Walk Alone" before kick off. Jeez. Have you heard a large group of Germans singing the song? Awful. Nasal. Elongated vowels. “Valk on, valk on” What? It’s a W not a V. Give it up lads. I was enraged enough to want to become the 301st violent Wuppertal fan and knock a few of them out thanks to a swift bunch of fünfs to the chops.
Get close to the action! Live the game! Eat a burger! Advertising bullshit!
Wuppertal ultras (Idea for re-brand as Wuppertultras? Nah, scrap that) were pretty impressive. All big flags and baggy hats. Who doesn't like a baggy hat. I do. 90’s Britpop baggy hats for all I say. One ultra got to wear a special hat with a video camera taped to his noggin. 90’s Britpop baggy hats with video cameras taped to them for all I, rather oddly, say.
Wuppertal led one nil at half time and half time means, of course, cheesy birthday greetings to Wuppertal supporters sound tracked by Stevie Wonder’s version of the song. Seizing the moment Rainer from Wuppertal also took the opportunity to wish his wife a happy wedding anniversary, always the romantic that Rainer. Flowers? No. Chocolates? Not this year luv. Message on a partly defunct pixelated scoreboard at a 5th division German football match? You cad Rainer, you sly dog. You know how to treat the fillies.
Ultras photo. Pretty standards arms in the air shot, followed by some big flag waving. Pretty much a given around here these days.
Both team made subs at half time. In my head the away teams was announced like this. “Half time substitution for FC Kray. Leaving the field Felix Stahmer to be replaced by Julian Bumbullies. That’s Julian Bumbullies. Spelt B.U.M bullies. *descends into guffaws with mic still open*
Hi, my name’s Kenny Legg, I’m 31 years old and I admit that I find that surname funny. Send help.
Emotional fan shot! Goal! Striker!
Shed Seven wannabies Wuppertal Ultras keep up the fun in the second half. A banner was unfurled saying “Zentrale Informations Spinners (Central Information Weirdos). Ouch. Take that the man. In your face. POW! This is followed up with a chant of “Jetzt woll'n wir auswärts spielen” (”and now we want to play an away game”) more in hope than anticipation. Further encouragement is offered to the Wuppertal players by an old boy with a trumpet and a tambourine, both of which he plays fuelled only by a diet of chocolate milk like some sort of school music room superhero.
Proof I don't make this up.
A man who loves to blow his own trumpet.
The match ends, 2-0 to Wuppertal. A good start to the season for the team at the start of a long hard season ahead with many challenges on and off the field. A victory represents three points and it’s important not to get carried away is what the club should be saying. Meanwhile in the PA box the man in charge of the Wuppertal gramophone thinks nuts to that, roots through the back of his LP collection whacks on a copy of Tina Turner’s “Simply The Best” and cranks it all the way up to elf whilst getting massively overexcited. Good on him!
(1) A monorail which wasn’t running today. I wouldn’t even be at this game if I knew I had to board a lousy stinking rail replacement bus service. Are there four more terrifying words in the English language than “rail replacement bus service”? Probably. But that’s irrelevant. The Wuppertal Monorail is a thing of suspended rusty beauty, what better way to arrive at a football ground than after being dangled over a river? Sod off bus.