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Fortuna Favouring Town
Fortuna Favouring Town
Thursday, 3rd Jan 2013 10:13

There won’t just be 2,900 members of the Blue Army backing Town at Villa Park on Saturday but also 70 supporters of German club Fortuna Düsseldorf. The Bundesliga club's fans have become a familiar feature of games at this time of the year in recent seasons and TWTD spoke to Ulli Munsterberg to find out how it all began.

Ulli said: “It all started in December 2004 when we - a group of supporters of an at that time struggling German football club Fortuna Düsseldorf - decided to visit England for Christmas or New Year to watch football and to visit (for us) the home of football.

“The club we visited had to match our club and, as we were walking downhill into Germany’s lower professional football leagues, we picked Brentford and Griffin Park and a game against Colchester United. We got a very warm welcome over there and appeared on BBC London.

“But since January 2006 we have found our destination in Ipswich. ITFC and F95 share some similar history, both clubs have won domestic trophies such as the championship or cup and were somewhat successful in Europe in the 70s, and we again got a friendly and warm welcome at Portman Road.”

Since then the link between supporters of the two clubs has strengthened: “Sometimes it seems to be complicated to build a friendly relationship between football clubs or their supporters but, while I cannot speak in general for all the fans of both clubs, from what I have experienced so far, there is a lot of understanding and tolerance from all of the supporters here in Düsseldorf and in Ipswich and I have never heard any bad comments about what we are doing.”

Ulli, who says they always receive a warm welcome from Rob and Claire at the Drum and Monkey when they visit Ipswich, has seen a fair bit of the Blues in recent seasons: “Over the past years, we have visited Ipswich at home against Portsmouth, Leeds United, Stoke City, Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County and away to QPR and PSV Eindhoven and we have brought more than 600 Fortuna fans all the way to England.

“Tractor Boys have been to Düsseldorf themselves on a number of occasions as well. We have produced a friendship scarf with ITFC on one side and F95 the other and got official permission from both clubs to do so, which shows that both clubs are very open-minded about our project.”

At Villa Park, thanks to help from both clubs’ ticket offices, the Fortuna fans, who have a website here, will be in the upper tier of the North Stand, adjacent to the Town support.

Ulli says they could have brought even more supporters: “On Saturday, there will be 70 of us, most of them dressed in both clubs' colours and again, all places on board are sold out.

“If we’d wanted to, we could have brought two full coaches, but that would lead to a lot of work, one coach full of us is enough.

“Once again, we are really looking forward visiting England and travelling with the Tractor Boys and the Blue Army and we will give our best to support ITFC and will hopefully get away with a good result from Villa Park.”

The Fortuna fans’ most recent trip to Portman Road

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allezlesbleus added 10:26 - Jan 3
Good lads.....hope they have a great trip and that our performance and result gives them something to cheer about.
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Kentish_Tractor added 10:36 - Jan 3
These guys are great. Crazy, but great. Last time I saw them they were in Block A Cobbald stand (nearest Bobby stand), next to B where we sit. Couple of hundred of them maybe. They didn't really know any of our songs, but were still making more noise when they sang than the Bobby stand!

IPSVVVIIIICCCHHHH TAAAARRRRNNN
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ebitfc added 10:44 - Jan 3
It would be great if we could arrange a return visit.
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IvorFeeling added 10:46 - Jan 3
Phil -chance to re write the headline ' Fortuna favouring the brave Town'
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debenturedave added 10:48 - Jan 3
Great support from the Fortuna fans, long may it continue.....but strange that they could get tickets at Villa but our own fans couldn't get any extra ones after the initial ones were sold out !?!?
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Kerplunk added 11:20 - Jan 3
@Debenturedave - They tried to get tickets through Ipswich but couldnt; as they had sold out so approached Villa directly who were happy to help.
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der_Hildener added 11:23 - Jan 3
it was indeed very complicated this time, as ITFC-ticket office told us, that they did not have enough tickets this time. Fortunately - the Aston Villa ticket office helped us out - they very very friendly there.
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adamisablue added 11:42 - Jan 3
id be bang up for returning the favour and visiting dusseldorf ive been to games in germany they are fantastic

der hildener r please tell me dusseldorf fans do the flag waving and bouncing and guys with megaphones ive come to expect from german fans :)
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Michael11 added 11:53 - Jan 3
Good on you boys! Up the Dusseldorf!
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blueconscience added 12:02 - Jan 3
To those saying a return trip would be great, The owner of the "Tractor-boys.com" forum arranges the return trip every year. Just say to him you are interested when they go.
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Davin44 added 12:13 - Jan 3
i am off to dusseldorf and dortmund in February... i have tickets to a dortmund game but havent been able to secure anything for dusseldorf as they are away when i am there.. shame!
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Davin44 added 12:20 - Jan 3
i wonder how many town fans would be up for a return fixture....
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adamisablue added 12:20 - Jan 3
davin you will have a lot of fun in dortmund beautiful stadium try if possible to vist vfl bochum aswell, man those guys are loud! didnt stop singing the entire game
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Davin44 added 12:31 - Jan 3
cheers adam, want to make as many games as i can!
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MathieandMarshall added 12:38 - Jan 3
Davin44 - I went to a Dortmund game last Christmas as the wife has family over there. Fantastic stadium and great atmosphere. The section we were in had both home and away fans mixed together drinking beers during the game. Different world to football over here! Enjoy.
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Marcus added 12:44 - Jan 3
Perfect headline would be Fortuna favours the foolish although not quite sure if it works in context ;)

Perhaps we could list some of the popular songs and chants for them?
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itfcserbia added 13:06 - Jan 3
OK, now I have my favorite German club :)
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Davin44 added 13:59 - Jan 3
MathieandMarshall - i havent heard a bad word said about German football yet!
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TractorRoyNo1 added 15:17 - Jan 3
glad to have you boys joining us, but a bit tough on local town fans who could not get a ticket
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der_Hildener added 15:59 - Jan 3
youre right TractorRoyNo1 - but again, we didnt get tickets via ITFC (sold out) but via AVFC - thats the reason why we have places in the upper north.

Due to 2 cancallations (illness) there is two of us who can not make the journey and we have two seats free on the coach and we have two tickets for admission to ground over as well, so if anyone interested - join us either on Dover Port or somewhere en route (service-station ? ) and we offer travel and ticket for free. If anyone interested please send mail to me to ulli@derhildener.com
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brazil1982 added 16:19 - Jan 3
This is fantastic. I'd love to go to a Fortuna match one day with my ITFC flag.
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rosseden added 17:12 - Jan 3
this is a brilliant example of what ITFC is all about...... someone get on the blower to Major Clegg and see if we can play them pre-season, we can get a fans match on in the morning of the game too......
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Pip50 added 19:12 - Jan 3
I zeem to remember the cathedral waz on zee otherside of the square frauline ???
(for all those Where eagles dare fans)
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itfchorry added 19:20 - Jan 3
Great bunch of lads -
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GermanTractorBoy added 22:03 - Jan 3
Gute Fahrt/safe journey Ihr Fortunen!
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