09 Why Schalke ?

Posted on Posted in Schalke FanClub UK Book

When I first came to Germany in 1979 I didn’t know much about Schalke, and I’d never even heard of Gelsenkirchen! I suppose my german team was probably Borussia Mönchengladbach. Coz of all those famous european nights, and what a great name! We were looking for a german team to support and ended up going to Cologne after Tony Woodcock joined them. I enjoyed the matches, but there was no real passion for the team. It was after I got married that I first came into contact with Schalke. My father-in-law and my 3 brothers-in-law were all passionate Schalke fans, so I had no choice really.

They took me to my first game in May 1982. It was the last game of the season. Schalke were already champions of the 2. Bundesliga and the game was therefore meaningless. We didn’t have tickets and I expected we we could just buy them on the day, no problem. However, the game was a total sellout! There were over 60000 fans there just to celebrate.

We ended up paying 30DM for 12 DM tickets off a tout! It was then that I started to realise that there was something special about Schalke and Schalke fans.

We went to the Park Stadion a few times over the years but it was the 2000/2001 season that really got me hooked. We were there for the home win over Bochum, and everybody singing “HERBSTMEISTER HERBSTMEISTER”. Then the home win over Berlin. We came back from being behind to a penalty. Jorg Böhme scored a brilliant goal. And of course, the most famous of all games, as we became “Meister der Herzen.”

We try to get to as many games as possible now, home and away. But obviously it’s hard to get tickets. I go with my 2 sons, my son-in law and a couple of mates. We can only make Saturday games. However, my youngest son plays in the B Jugend for our local team and they usually play Saturdays. So it’s difficult to fit games in. We usually manage about half a dozen games a season.

My dream is to be Meister with Schalke. We’ve been near in the last few years.

One day we will win it!!!!

Stephen Harkin

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