Welcome to volume two of my blog paying homage to the football clubs I've visited all over the world and the wonderful people responsible for keeping them going and looking after the stadiums, and in some cases basic grounds.

Since I was a little lad I've been fascinated in football and more so where games are played. With my love of travel and curiosity of the game I wanted to visit as many grounds and see games wherever possible. I was lucky that my Dad also loved the game and spent so much of his spare time taking me to matches. As I got older the boundaries widened owing to my location and increased wages to Europe and indeed the world. The sight of a stand or a floodlight pylon in the distance immediately hightens my senses and eagerness for a closer look.

I hope this site gives you the chance to share in my pleasure and experiences and maybe one day set you on the road to adventure. If you get half as much out of the hobby as I've done I can guarantee some great memories, good friends and stories to pass on to future generations.

Give your local club a go today. They'll be pleased to see you!

Everlasting thanks primarily to my late and very much missed and dearly loved parents; my Dad Bob Bernard and my Mum; Ann, who put up with endless years of football chat and my brothers Nick and Paul who gave me the chance and encouragement to do what I have. Thanks to all my friends who offer encouragement and Sally and Stan who inspire and give me great pride. Young Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby!

Please feel free to post any comments (please use sensible language - I want everyone to be able to enjoy reading) or ask any questions relating to visiting grounds or events. If you want to see any ground reviewed please let me know. It will take quite some time for everywhere to appear, but make sure you keep having a look as the site is continually updated.

If you click on a lot of the pictures you will get a larger version on your screen.

I have also added links to video clips on youtube where appropriate for those of you who are bored of reading or are filling in time at work. I haven't always gone for the most obvious choices, but items that will be in some cases unusual but always historically interesting.

Click to see volume one of HAOTW.

Rob Bernard


September 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

Berliner AK 07 (Germany)

Berliner AK 07 is a semi-professional club from the German capital of the same name who were formed on the 15th December 1907.

Berliner Athletik Klub 07 e.V, to give them their full title were originally formed with an interest in running, with the football section following in 1908 in the Wedding district of the city.

For numerous decades the club played in the lower reaches of Berlin football before gradually coming to life in 1995 with a sixth tier Landesliga Berlin championship win to gain promotion to the Verbandsliga Berlin at their home Sportanlage Lüderitzstraße stadium. The Verbandsliga was won in 1999 leading to a further elevation to the fourth tier NOFV-Oberliga Nord.

Between 2000 and 2003, AK played at Hanne-Sobek-Sportanlage. BSV Mitte, a club formed by the merger of ethnically Turkish sides BFC Güneyspor and Fenerbahçe Berlin, merged with AK in 2004, forming a relationship with Turkish first division club Ankaraspor in June 2006 to focus on player development in Germany. 

For a short period from 2006 the club changed its name to Berlin Ankaraspor Kulübü 07 and changing its traditional club colours to blue and white, while electing the Mayor of Ankara as club Chairman, before reverting back. To reflect the ambition of the period the club moved to play their home games at the 20,000 capacity Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark.

As a Regionalliga Nord side in 2012, AK pulled off a massive DFB Pokal shock by hammering Bundesliga team 1899 Hoffenheim 4–0. The club became members of Regionalliga Nordost the same year as the club settled into its new surroundings at the historic Poststadion.

Berliner AK 07 will play in Regionalliga Nordost in the 2015-16 season.

My visit

Saturday 10th October 2015

It was getting near the end of daylight on the first day of my German weekend and my feet were starting to severely ache. I’d had a tremendous day which had included a visit to Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark before taking in the Berliner Landespokal massacre which had seen SV Lichtenberg 47 hammer VfB Sperber Neukölln 1912 15-0.

From Lichtenberg I had taken a train to Alexanderplatz to start a brilliant sightseeing walk from the old East German centre, down the historic streets over the Spree, past the Dom, DDR Museum, Altes Museum and along Unter den Linden to the Brandenburg Gate. I had been met by thousands of protesters along the route, on their way back from their protest over Germany’s trade deal with the USA. They were peaceful, but they clogged up my progress!

Finally after walking round to the front of the majestic Reichstag building and strolling over Platz der Republik I caught the UBahn one stop from Bundestag to Hauptbanhof. I was ready just to book into my room for some shut eye, but I hate to waste opportunities I may never get again.

I continued over the square, past the old jail and up Lehrterstrasse. I knew the stadium wasn’t too far away, but by now it seemed a long way. I cut through by the new sports centre and found myself at the rear of the Main Stand at Poststadion. I couldn’t see an open gate.

No way was I to be denied when I saw a temporary wire fence at the end of the stand. It led to an overgrown grass bank, but I knew I could take a shower as soon as I got to my room, so in I scrambled.

It really was worth the effort to be inside such an historic venue. A shale running track surrounded the pitch. There open terracing at the far end and down the far side, with just a gap behind the goal for access. My end was out of bound to spectators, but the terracing was still there under the grass, trees and bushes, along with crush barriers. A fine Main Stand with small open paddock in front was the outstanding feature.

The stadium oozed history. In 1936 Adolf Hitler was part of a 55,000 crowd to see Germany dumped out of the Olympics football tournament in the quarter finals by Norway. The manager was immediately replaced!

In 1945 Germany had drawn 3-3 with England in the arena in front of a gate of 45,000. David Jack scored England’s final equaliser to cancel out a Richard Hofmann hat-trick.

After a few seconds of reflection and taking in the aura, I left, while watching out for security! I wandered to the far end where I saw the clubhouse of SC Union Berlin 06 who shared the stadium. There were lots of AK posters pasted to walls around the area and all the way to the station.

My body was ready to pack up, so I waited with a friendly local lady for the 123 bus back to the station before checking in and having an hour’s shut eye. It was then time to check out a couple of bars!

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