Reds vs. Blues

Auszüge von EuropeanFootballWeekends Blog

Twice a season in a small village just north of Utrecht in the Netherlands something very special happens. Pigs, farmers, fisherman, a giant viking and an army of football supporters come together for the Spakenburg derby. In the red corner we have the good folk at IJsselmeervogels and in the blue corner we‘re blessed with SV Spakenburg. It’s the biggest amateur derby in Holland. It sounds totally bonkers and I am loving it.

There’s Liverpool vs Everton. Manchester has got City vs United while Milan is Inter vs AC. But who needs all this red and blue city rivalry when you‘ve IJsselmeervogels and Spakenburg?
Twice a year the charming little town of Spakenburg (population: 16.000) suffers from a severe case of derby fever when two non-professional teams, the Rooien (Reds, IJsselmeervogels) and Blauwen (Blues, Spakenburg), are about to clash. It is the time of the year that true colours are to be shown.

It is said that when you‘re introduced to your parents in law in Spakenburg, they are more concerned whether you support the right team than the future plans the two of you might have. In Spakenburg, the team you support is also your identity. You‘re blue or a red in the first place.
….the atmosphere, the people…It isn‘t hard to see why fans from Germany, Belgium or England travel all the way up to Spakenburg. This game has got everything a derby needs with the rivalry of the two stretching far beyond the colours of their kits…:”

First, the backgrounds of the teams. IJsselmeervogels was established by labourers and fishermen whereas Spakenburg (ironically established as Windvogels and later Stormvogels) is the club of farmers and clerks. Secondly, there is a huge difference in success. IJsselmeervogels is by far the most succesfull team beating Spakenburg on league titles (31-6) and over-all championship in the non-league (6-1). And the rivalry is reflected by their accommodation as well. Their stadiums which are situated next to each other are amazing for non-league standards and they take pride in showing off to each other. When Spakenburg built a new stand a few years ago, you could expect IJsselmeervogels to build a bigger one shortly after.

During the build-up to the game, you could feel the tension rise in Spakenburg. Everywhere you look there are signs of (half of) the event of the year. Flags and banners hanging from the windows, kids with faces painted in Indian warrior style, and their parents also dressing up for the occasion. People were hosting parties in their back gardens around the town as there was to be no alcohol served at the ground or in the surrounding pubs – until the evening. And surely, the sight of these intimate blue or red gatherings added to the buzz. It is probably what derby fever is all about. And mind you, in its infectious. I noticed I was picking up pace on my way to the Westmaat, excited about what was about to happen.

The stadium was packed to the rim with a capacity of approximately 9,000 (that’s over half of the population of Spakenburg!). At least those were the official numbers. Loads of people sneaked in during the match or watched the game from the Spakenburg canteen and even from the banks …
Due to some previous problems between the two sets of fans – home made bombs and a bit of violence – the mayor insists that no alcohol can be served anywhere in the village until 5pm on derby day. Between 1995-2002 they were placed in separate divisions to calm things down, and that appears to have done the trick. Since they started playing each other again, there has been no problems at all. A tremendous amount of banter has replaced the need to fight. Police turn away anyone looking to make trouble and the match now takes place in a carnival atmosphere.

08.10.2011 15.00h VV IJsselmervogels – SV Spakenburg 2:2
Stadion: De Westmaat, Spakenburg
Wettbewerb: Topklasse zaterdag 2011/12 (3. Liga, Niederlande)
Zuschauer: 8.000 / ca. 500 Gäste
Eintrittskarte: 12 €, Stehplatz
WBUC: 2 : 2 : 3
Culinaria: Frietjes mit Speck und Zwiebel
„dank u wel“ geht an