Photo: The first screening.

18th of December 2017, and there are some twenty-odd people in the top room of the Seven Oaks in Manchester’s Chinatown. This place has become the defacto home of Manchester St. Pauli. It’s lively with conversation, with beer and most importantly three points for FCSP.

Playing the same team [Bochum] back in July, a smaller crowd met in the same bar. That night would be the first time Manchester St. Pauli had met for a game. An idea that started earlier in the year, and formed during the summer break. A core of 9 people, bonded by geography and a love of the St. Pauli way.

The parade on that day did get rained on somewhat, not by a typical defeat for the Boys in Brown, but in a way only Manchester can provide: by a torrential downpour. Two members [including this editor] required a pitstop at Primark for replacement footwear to prevent an onset of trench-foot, as a nice July day turned Northern. In fact, being able to watch the return game in December and being able to go to the loo without worrying about stepping in pee in your stocking feet was a welcome pleasure.

Footwear drama would continue to provide an amusing anecdote for our first trip to the Millerntor as a collective. Turning up for the Düsseldorf game with our crisp new flag ready to drape down the front of the Gegengerade, we realised we had nothing to tie it up with. Never fear, the removal of boot laces from a pair of Docs, combined with a toggle from a hoody, and we were flying the flag high.

Photo: Our flag proudly on the Gegengerade.

That Düsseldorf game was a beautiful late September day which ended with a 3am pizza in Pauli Pizza just off the Reeperbahn [8/10, would recommend the pepperoni]. It was the first time at the Millerntor for one of our organisers, and honestly, I’ve never seen a grown man filled with such a childlike sense of wonder.

In the handful of months since our inception, we have also raised money for various local charities, including our December raffle for Mustard Tree which raised an incredible £565. Inspired by the great work of Yorkshire St. Pauli and Glasgow St. Pauli, we want to help our local communes while also flying the flag for the correct position of inclusiveness. Oh, and we’ve also had our first MSP baby! (Barnardo’s have visited the new parents, for welfare reasons, but have determined that the parents have the best intentions, despite subjecting them to a lifetime of abject football…)

Even with terrible performances and even worse results, it has been a great experience: coming together, getting drunk and establishing a fan club with like-minded individuals. 2017 was an exciting start. 2018 will be even better!

Voran Sankt Pauli!

Photo: Our final screening of a successful 2017.