GGW could not be directly represented at the St Pauli Centenary match with Celtic due to a combination of prior commitments. Fortunately  Dubious Jake of the Huddleboard agreed to produce a report and photographs for GGW and the following account  gives a good flavour of what turned out to be a party that fully lived up to all the advance build-up and developed into a riotous but peaceful explosion of music, beer and football.

Enjoying a good gig

Monday 17th

After a weekend spent worrying about Iceland’s ash cloud, the news coming through about the flights was promising. We met at Captain Morgans in Hayes (home of Hayes Bhoys CSC) and after a beer or three, ten of us headed off to Luton airport. A three hour delay at the airport ensured we were well lubricated by the time we landed in Hamburg. Cars were waiting to whisk the Bible Code Sundays off to the gig while we took taxis to our hotel. By the time we got to the gig in Knust, the party was in full swing. We did miss the first band but the set by The Bible Code Sundays was followed by The Irish Brigade. The gig finished at around 02.30am which was just in time for the bhoys to pay The Jolly Roger a visit.

Tuesday 18th

Together for the game

There was a tour of St Pauli’s stadium, the Millerntor, arranged for the travelling support, but I missed this so can’t comment on how many went or how good the tour was. The open air gig outside Knust was due to start at 2pm and when we arrived the signs weren’t looking great for a decent turnout. Food and drink was available for everyone, but most fans were paying a visit to the supermarket across the road for a carryout. We left Knust and didn’t return until about 5pm. The atmosphere couldn’t have been any different from when we had left. A crowd of a thousand or so were singing, drinking and dancing to The Irish Brigade. The friendship between the two sets of supporters was plain to see and there was not a hint of trouble all afternoon. It was impossible to gauge quite how many Celtic fans had been able to make the trip, as almost everyone there was sporting Celtic and St Pauli tops and scarves. The Bible Code Sundays were on stage last, and were joined by Conor Kelly for a couple of tunes. They played right up to kick off, so everyone set off together for the game.

The game –St Pauli 0 Celtic 2

Celtic well represented in crowd

It’s not a big stadium by any means, but they don’t half pack the fans in. We had planned to stand on the terrace in the St Pauli end, but there was no way we were going to squeeze our way in. A bit of sweet talking to one of the stewards though, got us up to the top tier, where we watched the game from the executive seats. The St Pauli fans didn’t let us down and they chanted almost non stop throughout the game. The game wasn’t played at the pedestrian pace we have come to expect of friendlies and it seems both teams were keen to get a result.

Celtic have it under control

Neither team was close to full strength to begin with and St Pauli made 11 substitutions during the game so it was hard to get any sense of how close St Pauli are to Celtic’s standard but the game was always entertaining. After Celtic got the second and decisive goal through Rasmussen, the St Pauli Fans started chanting “Celtic – Glasgow, Celtic – Glasgow”.

It took us 45 minutes to get out of the stadium as the singing and chanting with the St Pauli fans just went on and on. After several photo calls and with voices hoarse from singing, we finally left. The crowd outside the Jolly Roger had to be seen to be believed. I am not sure how anyone managed to get served, although I imaging the shop next door was doing a roaring trade.

All in all it was a cracking trip. So many have been calling for the fixture for so long, that it seemed no one was going to waste a minute of it. I do hope it’s not too long before they play again.

GGW thanks Dubious Jake very much for that report which gave a great flavour of the unique combination of beer, music, football and friendship on offer. And for some great photos.

Hayes Bhoys CSC and their great band

The GGW editor Sandy Jamieson was present in Captain Morgans Bar  the unforgettable night in April 2009 when  the Hayes Bhoys CSC entertained the Villarreal Celtic Submari Penya when they were all over for the Arsenal game in the Quarter-Final of the Champions League. He was privileged to meet with and listen to the Bible Code Sundays who live up to their billing as the greatest Celtic Rock Band. The band have performed live at Celtic Park and GGW would urge any Celtic fans not familiar with them to google them and listen to some of the great music videos available of them in full song.