|Photograph courtesy M Morath.|
Aside from these, Dulwich Hamlet also has a group of younger supporters that sometimes forms into a band consisting largely of drums and trumpets and memorably turned up in onesies at Leatherhead. The second impromtu band within the club is sometimes made of the 'Turkish Ultras', who have attended games ever since Erhun Otzumer, the Non-League Messi arrived and add strongly to the cacophony. A more recent but quieter addition is Ged TheGiraffe.
|Photograph courtesy of Dulwich Hamlet Facebook page|
|Altona 93 and Dulwich Hamlet supporters on 9 March 2013.|
Most recently, as a result of the diligent efforts of MM in finding a German football team formed in 1893 and a supporter's football team trip to Hamburg, over 50 Germans supporters from Altona FC attended the home game against Sittingbourne. Altona FC currently play in the fifth tier of German football. The Altona supporters took the attendance well over 500 and resulted in a big increase in takings at the club shop and the bar. Additionally, a great deal of extra noise and colour was provided on the terraces. Again, Dulwich's European guests were rewarded with a win in the league game, although the Dulwich supporters also won their game 6-2 against Altona supporters on the Sunday.
Dulwich Hamlet has also become the focus of an Italian connection recently largely through social media. A group of Italian supporters inspired by the "passion of the English game" have started a website English Football Station, @EFSblog. They have adopted the club and plan a visit shortly. Let's hope Dulwich can continue the winning run.
It is genuinely exciting to attend games where large numbers of foreign supporters have turned up not to see a Premier League team, but to see Dulwich Hamlet in the Ryman League South. They bring both their own songs and also join in with the usual chants, but all with their own distinctive accents. The credit for starting and maintaining these links must go to MM and the small group of enthusiasts that turn out for the supporter's football team. They certainly greatly add to the support, noise and interest surrounding the game, but goes largely unreported. Are there any other clubs at this level that have this diversity of supporters and particularly relationships with foreign supporters?