Sausages and Caviar is a brand new football show run by two brothers, Kai and Jason Leech, who on a monthly basis go in search of wonderful football, fan culture at it’s finest and the best lager Europe has to offer.
Somewhat disenchanted with the plastic seats of the Premier League, my brother and I decided to make the football show we’d been banging on about for the last year. The idea was an away day every month, documenting some of the more colourful clubs around Europe. We had already decided upon Germany, but where? Nope, we didn’t click our heels and end up at the yellow wall in Dortmund, we packed our prawn sandwiches and travelled to East Berlin to see the infinitely punk 1.FC Union Berlin.
Union are the epitome of a community club. Tickets are reasonably priced, the fans built the 82% standing stadium themselves and all twenty odd thousand of them gather at Christmas to sing carols together. To get to this self-built home or ‘our living room’ as the locals call it, you have to walk through a forest and if it weren’t for the hundreds of other fans bellowing ‘Eisern Union’ around us, it’d be easy to imagine that we were two defectors plotting our escape across the east/west divide. After all, we are going to see a team that once lived in the shadows of the GDR, enemies of the Stasi-bankrolled Dynamo Berlin.
Once inside and buoyed by a few too many mulled wines, we began to experience the joys of the standing terrace that the Unioners around us had built. We sang the occasional word that we recognised and rejoiced when Union’s main man Torsten Mattushka smashed in the equaliser.
Thankfully the bouncing mass of bodies around us kept the late November chill at bay and made it feel like we’d just seen Beecher at the Borderline rather than a second division upset.
Union lost 3-1 and irrespective of the score, the leather-clad fans in front of us still cheered the players with the same gusto that they had started the evening with.
We left Berlin with heavy hearts. Both of us so enamored with Köpenick’s finest, that it was hard to shake the sinking feeling that Union wasn’t our club and it never will be. We consoled ourselves in the knowledge that we could go back to our living room and watch the Arsenal on BT Sport.
Find Sausages and Caviar on Twitter, @sauscav