Since being founded in the year 1910, the St. Pauli Football Club has been based at the Heiligengeist pitch. It rapidly developed a close connection with what is perhaps the most famous urban district in Germany and its inhabitants.
Its first sporting successes began after the Second World War, when in 1948 its "miraculous eleven" got into the semifinal of the German championship.
In 1977 it succeeded in getting promoted into the first Bundesliga division, but was immediately relegated again. After playing for some years in what was then the Oberliga Nord Top Northern League, in 1984 it graduated once more into the field of paid professional football.
Parallel to the development of the St. Pauli district, which attracted increasing numbers of students, punks and artists, from the mid-eighties on an alternative fan scene came into being around the Millerntor, and for the first time the pirate flag was raised at the stadium. From this time on the skull and crossbones gave symbolic expression to the rebellious and pugnacious philosophy of the club and its fans.
This attitude paid dividends when the club once more earned promotion to the top division of the Bundesliga in 1988 – an event of mythic resonance. Remarkable contests were played out at the Millerntor home pitch against apparently invincible opponents. All the same, there was a constant concern for fair and civilised behaviour towards the opposing side. Incidentally, the St. Pauli football club was the first club to enshrine a ban on rightwing nationalist tendencies in its stadium rules right from the start.
Once more in the first division from 1991, with a two year gap (1995-1997), the club celebrated football festivals in the second division that were characterised by creativity and openness to the world. On 20 May 2001 a young St. Pauli team succeeded, in a heart-stopping finale at the Nuremberg Franken Stadium, in achieving promotion to the first Bundesliga division. Sad to say, the League's buccaneers dropped to the second division again after just one year. Players and fans can relish the memory of the 2:1 victory at the Millerntor in what was an indescribably exciting atmosphere. The title of "Victors over the World Cup Champions" was coined!
Apart from its Bundesliga team, St. Pauli also fields an ambitious amateur team in the Oberliga Nord. Many of these young hotheads have recently proved good enough to transfer to the professional team.
The St. Pauli club also has eleven amateur sections, of which the most successful is the rugby section, which has won championship titles (above all the women's rugby title), and the Friends and Supporters Association Abteilung Fördernde Mitglieder or A*F*M.
I took a photo in FC Sankt Pauli; of them playing football.
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