Despite the 1910 in the name, the origins of St Pauli go right back to 1862, when the St Pauli Turnverein (Gymnastics club) was founded. Football was first played in 1907, they joined a football association in 1910 and first played in a league in 1911. The football club then separated from the gymnastics club in 1926 to form the FC St. Pauli we know today.
St Pauli were not in the original Bundesliga when it formed in 1963 and have only made it into the top flight twice (1977 and 2010)
They have spent most of this century going up and down between the 2 Bundesliga and Regionalliga Nord.
The cult of St Pauli
One of the club’s fundamental principles is that it is part of and should support its local community. It identifies strongly with the St Pauli district and the district identifies with the club – don’t try walking through St Pauli in a Hamburg SV shirt!.
Since the 1980’s the club has been linked with left leaning politics and social activism.
The skull and crossbones flag is recognised all over Germany as an emblem of St Pauli.
Matches have a real party atmosphere and fans are encouraged to stay on after the final whistle.
For more background on the culture within the club, see this article by James Montague for CNN.
I can also recommend a brilliant book by Nick Davidson : Pirates, Punks and Politics
The stadium is called the Millerntor. It’s right in the middle of the St. Pauli district and has a capacity of 29060 (16740 standing)
Ticket prices start at 12 euros.
Getting there by public transport is easy and cheap. A day ticket, letting you take any underground, tram or bus in Hamburg, will cost you 7.50 euros.
Start at the main station. Take a short walk to Hauptbahnhof Süd to get a U3 underground train towards Schlump-Barmbek and get out at St. Pauli.
The number 36 and 112 buses can also get you to the same place.
It’s then a very short walk to the ground.
Song : Hells Bells (AC/DC)
Colours : brown and white