Köpenick Jun 29, 2020
It was the 5th February 2011 – almost 2 years to the day after I had moved to Berlin from Scotland. My work had brought me close to the Union Berlin fan scene and on this particular Saturday, I had booked my calendar free – for on this day was Hertha BSC vs. Union Berlin at the Olympiastadion.
Hopes were high – Hertha were sitting at the top of the 2. Bundesliga Table and Union Berlin at 13th but this was a Derby, and everyone in the Union end felt that anything could happen. I honestly have no idea how many fans Union Berlin brought to the stadium that day – whatever it was, it felt like half the fans were in red and white.
The atmosphere was electric – I have never heard anything louder in all my life. Hertha Berlin took an early lead at around the 15th minute but nothing could stop the singing, and just before half time we equalised. Things were tight and at the 71st minute, Torsten Mattuschka fired the ball in to the back of the net from a free kick – the celebrations were so crazy that I felt the Olympiastadion bounce – literally.
The journey back to Köpenick that night was the last thing I can remember as the celebratory beers flowed – waking up on a bar table at 8am the next morning and realising I wasn’t the only one who’d partied through the night.
I was a Union Berlin fan for life after that day, and I’ll never forget that match.