There’s no footy without suffering…

There’s no footy without suffering,
when you’re a St. Pauli supporter.
I think it’ll stay the way,
that we come second only.

But we’d like footy without suffering,
Even as a St.Pauli supporter.
However, we’ll stay put,
and won’t support any other team.

Dudududududu, dudu… 

free rendition of a world hit by the FCSP supporter’s scene during the 90ties

Tragic is like love but without a happy end.
But one thing is taken for granted: The tragic is familiar with St.Pauli “

 (Das hier ist Fußball, Thees Uhlmann

Such and many similar chants are pretty common in football, however, amongst the FCSP supporter’s crowd, getting defeated was probably a much more defining experience compared to others – simply because the opposite (heavy celebrations after winning a title or being triumphant in Europe) are lacking and a few promotions or wins in the derby have to do the trick instead.
(Cover picture by Stefan Groenveld)

(Yes, we should rather be supportive during these difficult times and avoid to add any more depressive mood… but we’ll do this later and until then, you could simply read  or  watch the article about the most beautiful late winning goals). So here’s the article first, later today we’ll add the youtube and podcast version (however, in German language only).

29. June 1991, 1:3 against the Stuttgarter Kickers (Play-offs, final)
The mother of all defeats. And a report of Wolfgang Biereichel broadcasted at NDR, which is better describing the loss than any other words could do. So, please watch the report, but keep a tissue close.

6. May 1994, 1:2 against Wuppertal (2. Bundesliga, matchday 32)
Three years later – and at the same time the start of those defeats which the author of this article was able to witness from inside the stadium. 
A week earlier, a 1:1 draw against VfL Bochum was greatly celebrated, which was a defining experience for my fan’s career which had been started (due to my age and my place of living back then) at SV Werder. But on this particular Friday in the Ruhrstadion, a point gained from the leader of the table was celebrated as if we’d just won the championship. Thousands did celebrate this point (which was scored through an equalizer scored by Marcus Marin) in the away stand even long after the final whistle because it secured the second position in the league’s table which also meant (after the matchday) a five-point distance to the ranks not eligible for the promotion. And frankly spoken this happened at a time when a winning team was only rewarded two points for a win.
A week later on a Friday’s night, the FCSP had a home match against the Wuppertaler SV which was itself fighting against relegation. And the FCSP did not lose a home match for ages.
During the previous season, a certain Markus Aerdken was still attacking for the boys in brown. However, in 28 matches (in which he mostly played as a substitute) he only scored five times. In this season, Aerdken managed to score another five goals (however in 11 appearances only), however, at the end of the season, the club was relegated.
But on this particular evening at the Millerntor, which was also the release day of the 6th edition of the ÜBERSTEIGER, Aerdken somehow managed to score again. Twice. After his 1:0 in the 9th minute, he also scored the 2:0 in the 47th minute and his goal celebration included a slide on his knees up to the manager’s bench of the FCSP where he screamed a „Seppo, Du Scheißer!“ (Seppo, you shithead!) with his two fuck fingers pointing towards the bench. For this performance, Aerdken gained another yellow card from the referee. 
What followed was a powerplay from the boys in brown but despite the 2-1 scored by Jens Scharping (72.), no more goals were scored and by the end of the season, the FCSP was only 4th in the table.

(c) Stefan Groenveld

12. November 1996, 4:5 (after a penalty shootout.) at Energie Cottbus (DFB-Cup, Quarterfinals)
Whoever thinks about the DFB Cup and St.Pauli at the same time, is forcefully reminded of the legendary “Bokal“-Season – and of course of many, many embarrassing performances at lower division’s clubs.
The probably most annoying performance happened in 1996, but not as usual within the first or second round but in the quarterfinals.
After the already mentioned traumatic experience with Aerdtken, the FCSP got promoted to the top division in the following season after winning 5:0 against FC Homburg (which is worth another story) and also managed to stay in the division. After winning against Rot-Weiß Oberhausen (4:1), Borussia Neunkirchen (3:1) and against SpVgg Unterhaching (1:0) the draw now delivered a match against the FC Energie from Cottbus.
Whoever is browsing in old editions of the ÜBERSTEIGER will find out that this match would have even been a home match – if the draw would not have delivered to play against a third division club.
Cottbus was unbeaten head of the table and did beat the Stuttgarter Kickers (1:0), the VfL Wolfsburg (1:0) and the MSV Duisburg (after penalty shootout). The match ended with a 0-0 draw and went into a penalty shootout.
Cottbus started and after the first three penalties were scored, Christian Springer was the first to miss one. As shooting fourth, also Sven Benken of Cottbus missed so that the shootout continued. So, Scharping, Trulsen, Sobotzik and Michael Bochtler managed to score a 4:4 for the boys in brown in between, but while Mike Jesse scored the 6th penalty for Cottbus, Matthias Scherz missed and thus dreams of matches throughout Europe disappeared immediately.
Later, Energie also won 3-0 against the Karlsruher SC but eventually lost the final against the VfB Stuttgart. 

Friday, 19. April 2002, 0:4 in the “home match“ in the Volkspark (1.Bundesliga, matchday 32)
After a promising start, the year in the Bundesliga headed towards a horrible ending, the 1-2 loss against the last of the table (1.FC Cologne) a week earlier did deteriorate the situation further.
However, mathematically everything remained possible… but a win in the derby on matchday 32 would have been important for that.
Thus, the media were picking up on things accordingly and also Thomas Meggle added to it when he bravely announced: “We’ll beat the HSV even on the moon!” 
And in fact, the match started with a highly dominant FCSP and after 15 minutes Jörg Albertz tackled Ugur Inceman which resulted in a penalty for the boys in brown in front of the HSV’s supporter’s terrace.
Thomas Meggle himself was kicking the penalty… and failed, HSV’s goalie Pieckenhagen could get hold of the ball.
This was the beginning of the end, later on, the HSV scored the 0:1 and when the match ended, we clearly lost by 0:4. After the great promises before, the mockery naturally poured out in tubs over brown and white, especially of course over Meggle.
It also fitted into the puzzle of that day that a very laborious tifo had to be cancelled shortly before the match started, due to health and safety concerns. 

Friday, 23. August 2002, 0:6 at the VfB Lübeck (2.Bundesliga, matchday 3)
Only a few months later, the relegation was clearly coped with, another huge and unworthy loss happened, which is up to the day perceived as the biggest shame to the fan career by many.
A 0:4-defeat in Frankfurt and another 1:4 against LR Ahlen (after a 1:0 lead at half time!) did not allow to expect anything good for the rest of the season but this 0:6 at the VfB Lübeck was a punishment.
Earlier, the club sacked Dietmar Demuth, which was not met with approval by everyone, and after this desolate performance, there was a considerable crack between the club and its fans which took a long time to recover from.
Six – nill! At the Lohmühle! By these suckers… omg, I (Maik) could start getting angry again straight away. This was the absolute low, even if we should reach even lower divisions soon.

(c) Stefan Groenveld

14.03.2004, 0:1 at HSV II (Regionalliga North, matchday 22)
The ultimate humiliation. After we could beat their second team by 3-0 at the Millerntor during the first leg which was a relieve for everyone, we now had to travel to their ground… and it became a nightmare. Approximately 11.000 spectators at the Volkspark, of which 9 of 11 hearts were clearly beating for brown and white, had to witness an own goal scored by Marco Gruszka after almost 60 minutes and also that the impartial referee from Hamburg named Norbert Grudzinski was sending Christopher Fernandez off (probably deserved) but shortly after that, he did the same with Robert Palikuca, which was of course undeserved. The Kicker magazine rated both sent offs as entirely exaggerated, however, for some reason I cannot remember the according situations.
Anyhow, the match remained a piece of crap and we had to return home with a 0-1 defeat. The following week may have been a single black mark for most, especially in offices with social contacts other than brown and white.

12. December 2008, 0-1 at FSV Frankfurt (2. Bundesliga, matchday 17)
I (Tim) did have a bad series with regards to away matches. My first away match was a trip to Gütersloh (chartered train 97/98), in which the FCSP did at least score a point through making use of a late penalty by Jens Scharping. But what followed was a 13 matches lasting series of away defeats under my attendance. It took up to 2010 until this series could get stopped by a 1-0 win in Hanover. The low amongst the matches of this series was the match at the FSV Frankfurt. After 16 matches with 27 points in the account, we were in close contact with the promotion positions while the FSV could not win a single match since 11 matches and was last of the table with lean 10 points. Thus, as part of my naivety, I embarked on a bus ride to Frankfurt with joyful anticipation. I certainly planned for a win. (Note from Maik: Hahahaha… yes, we all have to go through this phase of naivety)
But I should have started to worry already six hours before the bus actually departed. Because my travel mate contacted me from the Christmas party of his study subject with the words: “Come along, it’s a hell of a party“. Accordingly, he arrived a little late the next morning still staggering. Like everyone else, he carried a bag. But instead of the usual food supplies for such a trip which was part of any other bag, his bag was completely empty as it was supposed to be his barf bag. And while my travel mate was completely focusing on keeping the content of his stomach where it belonged for the entire outward journey, I started to make contact with every other travel mate on the bus: The fan club FC Halligalli. I don’t want to tell more than necessary but a current member of the supervisory board of the FCSP could almost not control theirself any longer during the return journey.
The mood within the bus during the return journey was of course also related to the match result. We lost the match with 1-0. The goal was scored after a shortly passed corner-ball in the 88th minute. Less than three minutes earlier, Frankfurt created a huge chance with the same kind of corner-ball. However, there was no lesson learned by the FCSP from this earlier set-piece. How much did I swear? The stadium was a complete joke anyway. The match happened in the Commerzbank-Arena. And with 7.700 spectators, the ground took a relaxed 15% of its load capacity only. And in the cold December, many of the away fans had to take off their shoes at the turnstiles and had to stand inside the stadium wearing their socks only. Seldom, I witnessed something more desolate than that and I have to confess that this away experience did scare me for years to drive further than to Paderborn.

Second leg 2010/2011
Holy cow, this was definitely cruelty. Out of the last twelve matches in the first division, the FCSP managed to score only one point, And even this particular point was something pretty similar to the most painful defeat (which will be specifically discussed further down). It was almost a defeat of epical size. And with this series, the  Derby-curse was born.

19. March 2011, 1-2 against Eintracht Frankfurt (1. Bundesliga, matchday 27)
It wasn’t simply that the Eintracht was a direct competitor in the fight against relegation (they were also relegated eventually), we also played against them during one of their biggest of crisis. In the previous nine matches, the team from Hesse was able to score one goal only and from a 0-0 draw against Freiburg their only point. And then we came. FC St. Pauli aka Mother Theresa which helped them to get back on their feet. Until they took the lead with Gekas scoring after a ridiculous penalty decision, the home supporters booed at a completely insecure team. Takyi, however, managed to bring us back into the game but it wasn’t enough as we were the worse of two very bad teams on this day. On our return journey, after a short break at the services, the bus in which I (flippa) was traveling was heading into the wrong direction for half an hour. The poor bus driver received all of our anger.

16. April 2011, 2-2 against VfL Wolfsburg (1. Bundesliga, matchday 30)
The only point of all after the win in the derby belongs to the category „crappy matches“. Three matchdays after the disastrous defeat against Frankfurt we had to travel to another direct competitor – to Wolfsburg. The team, which won the championship one and half years earlier was with the same amount of points at rank 16 in the table. Only two points away to reach the safe shores. So, a win here and today was not just possible but also mandatory. But in the 39th minute, Diego assisted Mandzukic and let the crap begin. But against the usual, we re-entered the pitch with more strength in the second half and turned the match thanks to Naki and Lehmann. So now there was something real on the table! We were the much better team, the home team barely participated in the match and many of their supporters had already departed from the stadium when the substituted Polak scored in the 89th minute after a corner-ball (!) and thus threw the crap into the fan. My (flippa) next remaining memories of this particular day are the tears of frustration that started to invade my eyes on our return journey when someone (after hours of total silence) started to switch on the stereo on the bus and of all things Thees´ trembling voice appeared. 

(c) Stefan Groenveld

17. October 2011, 1-3 against Fortuna Düsseldorf (2. Bundesliga, matchday 11) 
Hey, shall we raise your blood pressure a little bit? For many, to drop a single name here should be enough: Sascha Rösler. This Monday night at the Millerntor helped to make the team of Fortuna Düsseldorf one of the most unwelcomed. Just remember what sort of actor’s team the squad of Norbert Meier (sic!) was back then. And while the author of these lines has to fight his raised blood pressure, we shortly sum up the match for you: 
The FC St. Pauli took the lead after Max Kruse scored early (assisted greatly by Fin Bartel’s heel, so that F95-goalie Ratajczak had absolutely no chance). Fortuna, at this stage unbeaten since 18 competitive matches, was able to equalize by a guy called Andreas “Lumpi“ Lambertz even before the half time whistle. In the second half, Fortuna clearly was the better team, however, Schachten could have scored (but he somehow only hit the post). Instead, Lambertz scored another one.
And while already in the lead, Fortuna had to face an evil opponent. How unfair the nasty and mean lads of St. Pauli played since. In! Every! Single! Duel! At least, from a Düsseldorf’s perspective. And this had to be pointed out intensively to referee Günter Perl. And they somehow succeeded as Markus Thorandt was sent off the pitch after conceding his second yellow card. And the review of Perl in the kicker appeared as a pure mockery (he was rated a 1.5 out of 6 (where 6 is the worst) “In a hectically and hard-fought match, the ref did almost do everything right“ – just another hint that objectivity was not the highest priority in this article ;)). Eventually, Beister scored the third goal for Düsseldorf which eventually won the match. 
So let’s have a look at the facts: Due to their impressive performance, Oliver Fink and Thomas Bröker got the offer to join the cast of  Alarm für Cobra11 [a dodgy crime series which regularly airs in Germany’s private television]. If you type the word lament into the German Duden [like the Oxford Dictionary], a team picture of Fortuna Düsseldorf appears. And within the referee’s technical jargon the verb „to rösler“ is common for that. 
Dude, I get angry again!!! So, let’s quickly head to the next match!

29. April 2012, 0-1 at Dynamo Dresden (2. Bundesliga, matchday 33)
In the first season after being relegated again, it nevertheless was a bumpy road, even if the names of the squad provided a brilliant read on the paper: Kruse, Boll, Zambrano, Ebbers, Bruns, Bartels and Sobiech are only some of these names. Nevertheless, the mediocre second leg caused a 4th to 6th rank in the table only. However, the chances to get promoted again were still realistic although Frankfurt and Fürth were almost promoted already, as Düsseldorf (3rd position) had to go through a similar low of crappy football. After we successfully sank the Kogge [a special type of ship and the emblem’s motive of Rostock] at home into the third division (3:0, Ebbers, Ebbers, Bartels), two chartered trains embarked with loads of hope on their way to Dresden. At temperatures above 30 degrees, parts of the home supporters welcomed us with intellectual diarrhea, as usual, showing stupid banners and Nazi salutes, but the news about Fürth taking the lead against Düsseldorf let us quickly focus on the pitch again. With 41 points, Dresden was cruising around in the absolute indifference of the league’s table, however, on this particular day, they were sufficiently motivated to spoil our promotion. And they succeeded. 
After a colossally crappy match of our team in which Dynamo was defending like a stone wall, the entire stadium (cheered by the stadium announcer) said goodbye to us chanting: „Schade Pauli, alles ist vorbei!“ [Bummer, Pauli, it’s all over now] If you remember the realistic chances to equalize on that day, you instantly get angry again, especially if you take a look at the final table: we had the same amount of points as Düsseldorf. I (flippa) will go puking now.

(c) Stefan Groenveld

11. April 2014, 2-3 against Kaiserslautern (2. Bundesliga, matchday 30)
Without exaggeration, this was one of the defeats which had a lasting effect on the FCSP and which caused some negative aftermaths for a long time. The starting position before this match was considerably good. After a 3-2 win in Sandhausen, the FCSP, back then coached by Roland Vrabec, was three points in arrears to the third position (Paderborn) and four points to the second position (Fürth). So, five matchdays before the end of the season, the promotion was still possible. On a Friday evening, the FCK visited the Millerntor, they had 44 points themselves (two less than the FCSP) and were also still in reach of the promotion ranks. FCSP’s early lead scored by Verhoek was equalized by Lakic even before halftime. But it got worse: the FCK took the lead in the second half through a goal scored by Karl. And while trying to defend this goal, Tschauner dislocated his shoulder. Visible for everyone, the shoulder was put back in order straight at the pitch, however, later, Robin Himmelmann had to make his second appearance in the second division. In the 89th minute, Florian Kringe was able to equalize and the FCSP was clearly aiming for a win then. There were plenty of chances on both sides now (and Kaiserslautern’s Orban was even sent off the pitch). But eventually, it was Ruben Jenssen who managed to score a quite nice goal in the 97th minute by shooting the ball volley into the net in front of the away stand.
I will never forget the picture of the instantly imploding away stand. On their side, the dream of getting promoted was still alive due to this late win (eventually, they were lacking six points to Fürth who then lost in the playoffs against the hsv). Whereas on our side, the motivation was clearly gone after this defeat and no more matches were won afterwards. At the last match of the season, Fabian Boll received his farewell greetings (and also did Fin Bartels) but it somehow also appeared as if the chemistry between coach Vrabec and the team wasn’t right any longer. The same was realised by the director of sports Rachid Azzouzi, however, only after four matches of the subsequent season were already played. This was rather too late. And the following decision that Thomas Meggle would be the perfect fit for the manager’s bench was also not the right one at the time back then. What followed was a horrible rest of the year at which end Azzouzi was sacked and Ewald Lienen took over. The FCSP was only able to reach the save shores on the last matchday of the season even after losing 0-1 in Darmstadt on that day. How all of this would have turned out if not the FCK but the FCSP would have scored during the hectic end phase 13 months earlier…

A location not to remember for the FCSP: The Voith-Arena in Heidenheim.

1-2, 0-2, 0-2, 1-3, 0-3, 0-1
No, these are not random numbers. These are the results of six away matches of the FCSP. From the FCSP’s perspective. Results that do not allow for any other explanation than that the town Heidenheim located at the river Brenz is nothing less than the Forecourt to Hell. For six times already, the FC St. Pauli played in Heidenheim and six times, they gained exactly zero points there. The Voith-Arena in Heidenheim is thus a symbol for matches in Sandhausen/Aalen/Ingolstadt, so for locations to which we could alternatively simply send the points by mail.
The difference between Heidenheim and other locations: The FCSP never managed to score a single point there. Horrible. And the chronicles of shudder can be pinpointed to one single individual only: Marc Schnatterer, who, whenever the FCSP is playing in Heidenheim, can be named as Kryptonite for the FCSP. In every single match of all six games, Schnatterer was involved in at least one goal (in total he scored 4 goals and made 4 assists). So, Marc “Chucky“ Schnatterer is the one, the incarnate evil, the always returning baby of Rosemary, a horseman of the apocalypse. We probably might only score there again when.. how old is Schnatterer actually? 

10. March 2019, 0-4 at home against the hsv (2. Bundesliga, matchday 25)
Phew, ey… no, there are boundaries. Even in this article!

In this listing of losses, of course, the biggest ones must not miss. First and foremost, the defeats at home were quite painful. The 1-8 against Bayern Munich in May 2011 was mistaken by many as an occasion for a party as the relegation was almost signed and sealed. I (Tim) personally found that an embarrassing thing to happen and I felt ashamed for both the performance on the pitch as well as on the stands. Only a few will possibly remember the 0-5  defeat at home against Cologne in the season of 77/78 or the 1-5 in 84/85 against Union Solingen. But that’s okay and should stay like this.
In the list of the highest defeats at home, there’s the 0-4 against Nuremberg in November 2015 (that’s a date some more should still remember) and the defeat at home against Ingolstadt with the same result (2017/2018). Specifically, the latter one did hurt enormously as the score was 0-4 at half time already and the FCI did not invest much into the match during the second half. Thus, the FCSP was rather well served with this result. And even after Ingolstadt did just switch into defending mode, we were not able to create any promising chance. During the second half, this match was nothing less than torture.

Oh no… we rather end this article now before someone discovers some more of these embarrassing defeats. For example the 0-5 in Bielefeld 17/18 or the 1-5 in Kaiserslaut… let’s get out of here! 

// flippa, Maik & Tim (Translated by Arne)

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