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St. Pauli

St. Pauli is a football (soccer) club from Germany.

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About St. Pauli

Fußball-Club St. Pauli is a German sports club based in the St. Pauli quarter of Hamburg. The association football section is part of a larger club that also has rugby football (FC St. Pauli Rugby), American football, baseball, bowling, boxing (BC Barraduca), chess, cycling, Team handball, skittles (sport), softball and table tennis teams.

In 2003/04 they dropped down to the Regionalliga (football), at that time the third football division in Germany and remained there for four years. In 2007, St. Pauli were promoted back to the 2. Fußball-Bundesliga and in 2010, FC St. Pauli was promoted into the Fußball-Bundesliga.

While the footballers have enjoyed only modest success on the field, the club is widely recognised for its unique culture and has a large popular following as one of the country's "Kult" clubs.


Early years

The club began its existence in 1899 as a loose, informal group of football enthusiasts within the Hamburg-St.Pauli Turn-Verein 1862. This group did not play its first match until 1907, when they faced a similar side assembled from the local Aegir swimming club. Officially established on 15 May 1910, the club played as St. Pauli TV in the Kreisliga Groß-Hamburg (Alsterkreis) until 1924, when a separate football side called St. Pauli was formed. The team played as an undistinguished lower-to-mid table side until making their first appearance in 1934 in the top-flight Gauliga Nordmark, one of sixteen premier level divisions created in the re-organization of German football that took place under the Nazi Germany. They were immediately relegated, but returned to the top flight in 1936. Relegated again in 1940, St. Pauli re-appeared in the Gauliga Hamburg in 1942, and played there until the end of World War II.

Post-war football

After the war, the club resumed play in the Oberliga Nord in 1947. A second-place finish in the 1947–48 season led St. Pauli to its first appearance in the national championship rounds. They advanced as far as the semi-finals, where they were knocked out 2–3 by eventual champions 1. FC Nuremberg. The club continued to play well throughout the early 1950s, but were unable to overtake rivals Hamburger SV, finishing in second place in five of the next seven seasons, and going out in the early rounds in each of their championship-round appearances from 1949 to 1951. In the late fifties and into the early 1960s, St. Pauli were overtaken by rivals such as SV Werder Bremen and VfL Osnabrück, but finished fourth a number of times.

Promotion to the Bundesliga

In 1963 the Fußball-Bundesliga, West Germany's new top-flight professional league, was formed. Hamburg, Werder Bremen, and Eintracht Braunschweig joined the new circuit as the top-finishers from the Oberliga Nord, while St. Pauli found themselves in the second-tier Regionalliga Nord.

Nearly a decade and a half of frustration followed. St. Pauli won their division in 1964, but finished bottom of their group in the promotion play-off round. They took their next Regionalliga Nord title in 1966 and, while they performed far better in the play-offs, still failed to advance to the top-flight, losing out to Rot-Weiss Essen on goal difference, having conceded two more goals. Division championships in 1972 and 1973, and runner-up finishes in 1971 and 1974, were each followed by promotion-round play-off disappointment.

The success of the Bundesliga, and the growth of professional football in West Germany, led to the formation of the 2. Fußball-Bundesliga in 1974. St. Pauli was part of the new second-tier professional circuit in the 2. Bundesliga Nord and in 1977, they finally advanced to the top flight as winners of their division. The team survived just one season at the highest level in the Bundesliga.

The club's return to the 2. Bundesliga Nord was also short-lived. On the verge on bankruptcy in 1979, they were denied a license for the following season and were sent down to the Oberliga (football). Strong performances that set the team atop that division in 1981 and 1983 were marred by poor financial health. By 1984, the club had recovered sufficiently to return to the 2. Bundesliga, overtaking Werder Bremen's amateur side who, despite finishing two points ahead of St. Pauli, were ineligible for promotion.

"Kult" phenomenon

It was in the mid-1980s that St. Pauli's transition from a traditional club into a "cult" club began. The club was also able to turn the location of its ground in the dock area part of town, near Hamburg's famous Reeperbahn — centre of the city's night life and its red-light district — to its advantage. An alternative fan scene emerged, built around left-leaning politics, social activism and the event and party atmosphere of the club's matches. Supporters adopted the Jolly Roger as their own unofficial emblem. St. Pauli became the first team in Germany to officially ban right-wing politics nationalist activities and displays in its stadium in an era when fascist-inspired football hooliganism threatened the game across Europe. In 1981, the team was averaging crowds of only 1,600 spectators: by the late 1990s they were frequently selling out their entire 20,000-capacity ground.

The Skull and Crossbones symbol had always been associated with St Pauli in one way or another. Hamburg fostered the most famous pirate of Germany Klaus Störtebeker and the symbol had been used by the house occupants at Hafenstrasse, but the one who should be credited with finally bringing the symbol to the terraces is probably Doc Mabuse, the singer of a Hamburg punk band. As the legend tells, he first grabbed the flag from a stall while passing drunk through the Hamburger Dom on his way to the Millerntor-Stadion.

In the early 1990s, the media in Germany recognized the Kult-image of the club, focusing on the punk ideologies part of the fan-base in TV broadcasts of the matches. By this time, the media also started to establish nicknames like "Freibeuter der Liga" (Buccaneers of the League) as well as das Freudenhaus der Liga ("Brothel of the League" but Freudenhaus also literally means "House of Fun").

St. Pauli moved in and out of the Bundesliga over the course of the next dozen years: The club were narrowly relegated to the Oberliga in the 1984–85 season, but won the 1985–86 championship and returned to 2. Bundesliga. Two increasingly strong years followed, resulting in promotion and three seasons in 1. Bundesliga, during 1988–91. Four seasons followed in 2. Bundesliga, and then another two in 1. Bundesliga 1995–97, before returning to 2. Bundesliga.

Into the new millennium

Until last season, their most recent appearance in the top flight had been a single-season cameo in 2001–02. A win against FC Bayern Munich, the reigning World Club Cup winners, led to the popular Weltpokalsiegerbesieger (World Club Champion beaters) shirts. However, the team finished last in the league, partly because the management did not trust the team which surprisingly won the promotion in 2001, but rather spent the additional money from Bundesliga TV contracts and advertisements on expensive but disappointing players. After the relegation to the 2. Bundesliga, only a skeleton of the successful 2001 team remained; the season 2002–03 ended up in chaos, with the team fighting relegation (ultimately in vain) from the very beginning, various coaches departing and other problems internal to the club.

With the club almost bankrupt again and the less-lucrative Regionalliga (football) looming, the club began its fund-raising activities, the so-called Retteraktion. They printed t-shirts with the club's crest surrounded by the word Retter (rescuer/saviour) and more than 140,000 were sold within six weeks. They also organized a benefit game, against Bayern Munich, to try to help rescue the club.

The club has also been active in terms of charity and in 2005 the club, the team and the fans initiated the Viva con Agua de Sankt Pauli campaign, which collects money for water-dispensers for schools in Cuba, for clean water in Rwanda et cetera.

During the 2005–06 season, the team enjoyed unprecedented success in the DFB-Pokal, with wins over SV Wacker Burghausen, VfL Bochum and, significantly, Bundegsliga sides Hertha BSC and, in the quarter-finals on 25 January 2006, SV Werder Bremen. Their 3–1 victory in front of a sell-out Millerntor crowd, and their subsequent place in the DFB Cup semi-final, netted the club approximately €1 million in TV and sponsorship money, going a long way to saving the club from immediate financial ruin.

St. Pauli finally went out of the cup to Bayern Munich on 12 April, going down 3–0 with a goal from Owen Hargreaves and two from Claudio Pizarro. Coincidentally Bayern Munich were also St. Pauli's opponents and dispatchers, in the first round of the following season's cup.

After success in the 2006–07 season, the team was promoted to the 2. Bundesliga.

After defeating Greuther Fürth in the 2009–10 season the team secured promotion back to the 1. Bundesliga for the 2010–11 season.

On 16 February 2011 in the 2010–11 season, for the first time since 1977, St Pauli defeated their bitter cross city rivals Hamburger SV away at the Volksparkstadion courtesy of a Gerald Asamoah goal. However, the team finished the season last in the league going back to the 2. Bundesliga.

Recent seasons


St. Pauli enjoys a certain fame for the left-leaning character of its supporters: most of the team's fans regard themselves as anti-racist, anti-fascist, anti-homophobic and anti-sexist, and this has on occasion brought them into conflict with Neo-Nazism and hooligans at away games. The organisation has adopted an outspoken stance against racism, fascism, sexism, and homophobia and has embodied this position in its constitution. Team supporters traditionally participate in demonstrations in the Hamburg district of St. Pauli, including those over squatting or low-income housing, such as the Hafenstraße and Bambule. The centre of fan activity is the Fanladen St. Pauli. St Pauli fans currently have a strong relationship with Celtic F.C fans.

The club prides itself on having the largest number of female fans in all of German football. In 2002, advertisements for the men's magazine Maxim (magazine) were removed from the team's stadium, in response to fans' protests over the adverts' allegedly sexist depictions of women.

Several bands has also made music directly related to St. Pauli: The Norwegian punk rock band Turbonegro recorded a special version of their song "I Got Erection" with re-worked German lyrics for St. Pauli. In 2009, Italian Ska Combat-Folk Punk band Talco (band) from Marghera, Venice wrote the song "St Pauli". The team has since used the song as an anthem and Talco has played a number of concerts at Millerntor-Stadion. Also the British band Art Brut has written a song about the club called "St Pauli", which is featured on their album It's A Bit Complicated. In 2010 the FC St. Pauli celerated 100 years. To the jubilee the Fan club 18auf12 had recorded a song: "Happy Birthday St.Pauli, One Hundred Beers for You" (Words and music by Henning Knorr and Christoph Brüx).

When the team plays in Germany's 2. Fußball-Bundesliga, their home fixtures at the Millerntor-Stadion use to average greater attendances than any other team and often exceeded turnouts for second division teams. As of the 2011–12 2. Fußball-Bundesliga season, St. Pauli is the only team that has close to one hundred percent in average home attendance.

St. Pauli have more holders of season tickets than many Bundesliga teams. One study recently estimated that the team has roughly 11 million fans throughout Germany, making the club one of the most widely recognised German sides. The number of official fan clubs passed 500 in year 2011 which is an increase of 300 over just three years.

Club culture

St. Pauli opens its home matches with Hells Bells (song) by AC/DC, and after every home goal "Song 2" by Blur (band) is played.

St. Pauli have made pre-season appearances at Wacken Open Air, a heavy metal festival, several times.

The club hosted the 2006 FIFI Wild Cup, a tournament made up of unrecognised national football teams like Greenland national football team, Tibet national football team and Zanzibar national football team. They participated as the "Republic of St. Pauli".

In 2008, Nike, Inc. commemorated the club with two exclusive Dunk (footwear) shoes, both released in limited quantities. The High Dunk (featuring a black wikt:colorway, and the skull and crossbones symbol) was released to all countries throughout Europe, with only 500 pairs produced. The Low Dunk (featuring a smooth white colorway, and holding the team's logo impregnated in the side panel leather) was released only to shops in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, with only 150 pairs produced.

St. Pauli were the first club in Germany to integrate a set of Fundemental Principles (Leitlinien) to dictate how the club is run. The Fundamental Principles were passed by an owerwhelming majority at the St Pauli Congress in 2009 and the they go beyond soley football.

The first five Principles states that:

- "In its totality, consisting of members, staff, fans and honorary officers, St. Pauli FC is a part of the society by which it is surrounded and so is affected both directly and indirectly by social changes in the political, cultural and social spheres."

- "St. Pauli FC is conscious of the social responsibility this implies, and represents the interests of its members, staff, fans and honorary officers in matters not just restricted to the sphere of sport."

- "St. Pauli FC is the club of a particular city district, and it is to this that it owes its identity. This gives it a social and political responsibility in relation to the district and the people who live there."

- "St. Pauli FC aims to put across a certain feeling for life and symbolises sporting authenticity. This makes it possible for people to identify with the club independently of any sporting successes it may achieve. Essential features of the club that encourage this sense of identification are to be honoured, promoted and preserved."

- "Tolerance and respect in mutual human relations are important pillars of the St. Pauli philosophy."


The club's home is the Millerntor-Stadion. Work on the stadium began in 1961, but its completion was delayed until 1963 as there was initially no drainage system in place, making the pitch unplayable when it rained. It originally held 32,000 supporters, but this has been reduced in recent years for safety reasons.

In 1970, the stadium was renamed the Wilhelm Koch stadium, in honour of a former club president, but this was controversial when it was discovered he had been a member of the National Socialist German Workers Party during the war, so the name was changed back to Millerntor in 1999.

Currently, a reconstruction effort has begun. The goal, a total renovation of the stadium (expanded seating, new amenities, etc.), is expected to be completed in 2014 (capacity: 30,000) and cost around 30 million euros.

The Stadium is located next to the Heiligengeistfeld, and is overlooked by the infamous Flak tower. It can easily be reached with the U-Bahn line U3 (St Pauli Station and Feldstrasse Station).


Notable players

International players

The following international players have also played for St. Pauli:

- Zlatan Bajramović
- Deniz Barış
- Alfred Beck
- Morten Berre
- Paul Caligiuri
- Yang Chen
- Cory Gibbs
- Ari Hjelm
- Ivan Klasnić
- Ivo Knoflíček
- Ján Kocian
- Ali Reza Mansourian

- Frantz Mathieu
- Michél Mazingu-Dinzey
- Karl Miller (footballer)
- Tore Pedersen
- Carlos Augusto Zambrano
- Ingo Porges
- Christian Rahn
- Richmar Siberie
- Yuri Savichev
- Helmut Schön
- Ive Sulentic
- Niels Tune-Hansen

Greatest ever team

In 2010, as part of the club's celebration of its 100th anniversary, fans voted the following players as the best in the club's history:

- Klaus Thomforde
- André Trulsen
- Walter Frosch
- Karl Miller (footballer)
- Dirk Dammann
- Michél Mazingu-Dinzey
- Thomas Meggle
- Jürgen Gronau
- Harald Stendner
- Peter Osterhoff
- Franz Gerber

Coaching staff

Head coach history

- Otto Westphal (1963–64)
- Kurt Krause (1964–65)
- Erwin Türk (1970–71)
- Edgar Preuß (1971–72)
- Karl-Heinz Mülhausen (1972–74)
- Kurt Krause (1974–76)
- Diethelm Ferner (1976–78)
- Sepp Piontek (1978–79)
- Michael Lorkowski (1982–86)
- Willi Reimann (1986–87)
- Helmut Schulte (1987–91)
- Horst Wohlers (1991–92)
- Josef Eichkorn (1992)
- Michael Lorkowski (1992)

- Josef Eichkorn (1992–94)
- Uli Maslo (1994–97)
- Klaus-Peter Nemet (1997)
- Eckhard Krautzun (1997)
- Gerhard Kleppinger (1997–99)
- Willi Reimann (1999–00)
- Dietmar Demuth (2000–02)
- Joachim Philipkowski (2002)
- Franz Gerber (2002–04)
- Andreas Bergmann (2004–06)
- Holger Stanislawski (2006–07)
- André Trulsen (2007–08)
- Holger Stanislawski (2008–2011)
- André Schubert (2011–)

Other sports

The St. Pauli rugby section has several teams, both in the men's and women's leagues.

The men's rugby department has not been as successful as its female counterpart, reaching the German final only once, in 1964. In 2008–09, St. Pauli was the only club to have a team in both the rugby and football 2nd Bundesliga. In 2008–09, the men's team finished fourth in the second division.

The women's team have won the German rugby union championship 8 times (1995, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005–8) and the Rugby sevens championship 3 times (2000, 2001 and 2002). Several of their players play in the national squad.

Notable presidents

- 2002–2010: Corny Littmann

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