I don’t remember much of our friendly against St Pauli. In fact, I don’t remember much of the trip at all. This is largely down to me being an uncooth charlatan who ignored the many cultural treats of Hamburg in order to stand outside a shop drinking bottles of Astra that cost a euro.
Apparently the game finished 3-3. St Pauli’s motley collection of septuagenarian, propped up by Bolton’s Ivan Klasnic who scored a hattrick, were more than matched by our beloved boys in red. Who were wearing blue. But as ever with these things the match was of a secondary importance. Something far better was occurring in the chilly stand where 800 or so FC United fans were gathered.
There’s some controversy over where the chant started, but at some point during the match someone decided to start singing The Carpenters’s ‘Top Of The World’. It was picked up by everyone, and was blasted out for long periods of the second half, and for about thirty minutes after the game had finished.
The handful of St Pauli fans who had made our end their home stood and shook their heads in disbelief as we refused to leave the ground, instead preferring to stand and serenade at first our team, and then the empty pitch, with our newly discovered anthem. The place was rocking. I stood, currywurst spilled all down my coat, beer in hand, thinking that things rarely get better than that.
“I’m on the top of the world lookin’
Down on creation and the only explanation I can find
Is the love that I’ve found
Ever since you’ve been around
Your love’s put me at the top of the world”
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