FC St Pauli – a left-wing club with a strong supporters base

St Pauli, a German second division side have supporters and supporter groups dotted around the world.

It is a strange case as to why so many people follow this club but the reasons why are plentiful.

St Pauli is widely known as a left-wing club, highly involved within politics on the supporters’ side.

There is a sense of community within the fans as they gather together, not just for the football, but to stand in union against hate towards groups such as racism, fascism and homophobia.

Delayed screening for the Southampton supporters club Photo: Henry Buxton

It acts as an extension to the sport for the club, it’s for like-minded football fans who all have the same views, both politically and ethically.

Ryan Wheeler, the founder of the St. Pauli supporters group in Southampton, enjoys the sense of community within the club and therefore hosts delayed screenings in Southampton to get the community together to enjoy the game.

He says he likes the wide social aspect and the political agenda that comes with it:

‘There are morals and ethics that attract a lot of left-wing people … there’s everyone from anarchists to communists, there’s such a wide range of people on the left who all have the same basic values of anti-racism, anti-fascism, anti-homophobia and anti-sexism as well.

There are many supporters groups appearing including in Yorkshire, Manchester, Glasgow, North East, South West and more.

That’s only in the UK, there are other groups in countries such as Norway, Holland, Poland, USA, Canada and Mexico

Tom Sidwell and a St. Pauli game Photo: Tom Sidwell

St Pauli Derby founder Tom Sidwell admits the reason he supports the club is that he found he didn’t want to associate himself with typical football fans.

‘Ever since I was a kid, I never really felt part of the normal football crowd, I never felt welcome there… it’s not just about the actual game of football, it’s about the culture and the alternative lifestyle and you’ll always have people that felt how I felt.’

Native journalist Peter Auf Der Heyde speaks deeper about the club, emphasising the culture that it highlights:

‘It’s just a counter-culture, football the way it is maybe is not always great. Supporting a club like St. Pauli, they just do things differently. I don’t think you really have a professional club like that in England much because it’s to driven by money’