1.FCNUK is more than just a fan club of 1.FC Nuremberg (a football team who seem to spend most of their time going up and down between the top two professional football divisions in Germany).
Many of us like the football (and some of us are oddly obsessed with 1.FCN to the point that we do what we can to watch matches live on TV, the internet and in German football stadiums).
But there’s more to it than that. We’re a social group who regularly get together to party, chat, drink and, of course, travel to Germany. Some members will interrupt a typical weekend break in a German city to watch our beloved 1.FCN play; others will not, preferring to spend their time shopping, eating, sightseeing or in the pub.
It all quite simple really but how did it all come about?
In the beginning…
On 22nd October 2005, following a poor start to the season, 1.FC Nürnberg (for that is how it is written in Germn) seemed to be facing a seven month fight to prevent relegation and preserve their Bundesliga status. Their 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Arminia Bielefeld was witnessed by a party of 10 Brits, visiting Nürnberg to sample the football, the city, the food and the beer.
Despite the defeat, for these traveling revelers a small seed had been sown. Maybe it was the readily available refreshment in the Frankenstadion, the €8 ticket price, the atmosphere on the Nordkurve terrace, the hospitality of the Franconian people, the beauty of the city itself or the fact that 1.FCN were unlucky to lose the game. No matter, they all knew that they would one day return to lend their support to this enigmatic German football club, or at least spend plenty more time socialising in Germany.
On arriving back in the various corners of the British Isles, and into the workers bars and dark satanic mills of England’s green and pleasant land, something started to stir.
Within months, that ‘something’ would become 1.FCNUK, the United Kingdom Supporters Club of 1.FC Nürnberg, the English speaking embodiment of 1.FCN for fans the world over. So naive were we back then that we didn’t even know that we were supposed to put a dot after the 1 in the name. But no matter – we just got on with it all anyway.
Now, with an ever-increasing membership, 1.FCNUK consists of a varied cross-section of people. Many (but not all) are football fans by blood, accident or coercion. We have grasped the opportunity to support 1.FCN and, through our support, have a good excuse to visit Germany and cut through the ups and downs of life.
In the beginning, the concept of 1.FCNUK was Like Frankenstein’s monster – nobody knew where it would go, how it would be controlled or whether anybody could stop it!
The reality of 1FCNUK is just the same… we tend to make it up as we go along.
Official welcome by Der Club…
On Easter Sunday 2006 members of 1.FCNUK were officially welcomed to the 1.FCN family of fan clubs by 1.FCN themselves who were represented by Karl Teplitzky and Vice-President Siegfried Schneider. The following report for the official 1.FCN Fanverband website, by our good friend and member Armin Peipp, serves as a further introduction to 1FCNUK:
Karl Teplitzky, the Fan-Representative of 1.FC Nürnberg and the Chairman of the 1.FCN Fanverband opened today’s fan consulting hour. He welcomed all of the fans who had appeared again in large numbers and particularly Siegfried Schneider the Vice-President of 1.FC Nürnberg. He also welcomed the newly-created 1.FCN fan club 1.FCNUK (already represented on the Internet at www.1fcnuk.com).
Subsequently, he handed over to Vice-President Schneider who also gave greetings to the gathered fans and mentioned how important it was to win the day’s game against Kaiserslautern. He then requested Herbert Schauer, the President of 1.FCNUK to say a few words to the fans.
Herbert Schauer cordially welcomed all present fans and told about the emergence and goals of the fan club (formally established on 2nd January 2006). Beside the German’s family members the club also includes native football fans from all parts of the United Kingdom. (England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are represented in 1.FCNUK.) Today he welcomed another member from Germany and said that he thought the number could rise to 100!
It was following the home game against Arminia Bielefeld on 22nd October 2005 (in which 1.FCN saw a 2-1 lead turn into a 3-2 defeat in the final three minutes) that the idea for 1.FCNUK was born. The official launch in Germany came on 11th March 2006 at the fantastic away victory in Cologne. On 16th April 2006, before the home game against Kaiserslautern, 1.FCNUK was officially welcomed into the family of the 1.FCN and received a certificate from Der Club acknowledging the existence of 1.FCNUK. In addition 1.FCN presented a signed shirt, a football and a signed pennant to the new fans.
Herbert Schauer emigrated to England from Nürnberg in 1977. While he lived in the city he watched many 1.FCN games, visiting the old Zabo and Städtische Stadion. He is very proud to have seen the legend Max Morlock playing.
Armin Peipp (16th April 2006)
1.FCNUK has approximately 30 regularly active members from the United Kingdom and Germany with many, many more friends and acquaintances joining in with our trips and social events.
Each year members try to attend as many games as possible and/or enjoy the hospitality and friendship we have found in Franconia. Some trips to Germany are made my just 2 or 3 members, others by larger groups of up to 30. Wherever we go and whoever comes with us, we always try to reciprocate the welcome we are given.
Some of the early adventures of 1FCNUK have even been immortalised in the book For Better Or For Wurst by Jon Goulding.
The football, socialising and camaraderie enjoyed by 1.FCNUK may one day become as legendary as 1.FCN itself!