Flying off to meet Antifa brothers and sisters is always a treat; but making a co-ordinated trip from three different countries in order to meet up somewhere and have an Antira blast is something truly special.
This was the first time we managed to arrange such a meetup and the build up and anticipation was enormous. Since our last trip to Seville in early November we had talked about carrying out this joint Ultras journey, and finally after months of planning the day had arrived. the day when Rebel Ultras, Frente Rojiblanco Azuaga and Quartograd would all converge on Belgium and Holland and meet up with both the Inferno and the M-Side to cause some good old fashioned Antira mayhem.
We were also extremely lucky that even though we had booked our tickets months in advance (without knowing which playoff game we would be able to watch); we got to see the Belgian “El-Classico”… the brilliant Standard Liege vs wankerlecht ! :)
As with all our report we will try to give you a short review on what happened…day by day (as much as we can remember from the endless alcohol being consumed and the long insomnia nights). :)
So here goes….
First to converge to Liege was us. We got a flight which arrived around noon in Brussels. The flight was fantastic as the plane was really empty and we had a chance to consume an ample amount of Heinekens on board and then pass out for a couple of hours on the full length of three seats! :) Upon arrival in Brussels main airport we hitched a train ride for Liege’s renowned Guillemins Train Station (look it up, the place is an architectural masterpiece although the locals will definitely argue that its a bunch of wasted funds that could have gone on healthcare and education; and …hmmm…we tend to agree).
A 50 minute train ride turned into an hour and a half as of course (as always in Belgium) some sucker was performing maintenance work on the infrastructure causing delays; which was fine by us as we had stashed a few beers in our racksack and make good use of them along the way!
Arriving in Liege our local host Mr. B came to pick us up along with another two of the Inferno Ultras. It was great meeting up with old friends….actually thats wrong…..let us rephrase…….. it was great meeting up with FAMILY again! :) After the short “it’s freaking good to see you agains” we boarded a short bus ride to the Inferno legendary fanclub, the “Cosa SL”. There we met many more of the Inferno family and had a nice quiet drink all together while we shared our views on what is going on now in the Antira world and of course caught up with what had happened in the meantime since our last meeting when we visited them and the Bukaneros in Spain back in November (if you missed that story you can find it here: http://rebelultras.com/2014/11/15/trip-report-spain/
We wanted to keep it a calm evening, as the next day our contact from the Frente Rojiblanco Azuaga was arriving in the morning at Charleroi Airport. “Senior C” for those who remember him from the Spain trip! :) We were planning to pick him up from the airport the next morning, however being in Liege, and being with the Inferno, kind of made it a hard job to manifest; as soon the night turned into a belter of a party! :)
We think it must have been around 3 am when we finally stumbled back into our host’s apartment with our luggage, and the party just kept on going. An Inferno pasta lunch was cooked up, while the lovely Jupiler brew of Liege kept on flowing down our throats. Sweet nectar to a travelling Ultra! A lot of fun discussions ensued and at some point we found a mattress and the rest was sweet Belgian dreams!
Thankfully, before we had the chance to go completely off our minds the night before, we did consider contacting an Inferno brother from Brussels, who was kind enough to volunteer and pickup Senior C this morning and bring him over to Liege to meet up with us. Being “early birds” we woke up around 9 am and so headed down to a nearby market to pick up some stuff for the fridge. Meats, eggs, bananas and of course pain killers and more beers constituted some the vital Anti-hangover shopping list :) (we’ve got loads of anti-hangover tips we can freely share with you! just drop us a line!)
We were back in time to cook up some lunch for our hosts and before we knew it, Senior C came pouncing through the door with a noontime beer in his hand! It was bloody good to finally lay eyes on this Antifa brother who had looked after us and the Inferno so well on our last trip to Spain. Being constantly in communication with each other, it didnt really take long for the “catching up” to finish so we decided since we where rested and fed, it was time to take Senior C on his inaugural walk to downtown Liege.
We ended up at an Irish bar, where the room mate of our host works and it wasn’t long since we where indulging ourselves in the old golden brew. As the minutes and hours passed we were slowly joined by even more Ultras who having woken from their slumber had started to seek us out. You see at el classico week, the whole city lives and breathes football and every day is a pre-game opportunity, a chance to show off the Red and White pride.
It wasn’t long until an old friend of the Standard hooligan group “Hellside” also joined us. For us, one of the first things which we liked about Liege was the fact that the Ultras (both Inferno and PHK04 have extremely good relations amongst themselves but they also maintain strong bonds with the old school hooligan group of the 80s. this is actually a rare sight in the footballing world and it is truly fantastic that even though they may share decades of age difference they still stand side by side on a daily basis, and when the going gets tough.
At some point later on in the afternoon the boys had the idea of throwing an impromptu BBQ at one of the Inferno homes, the Legendary “16” ! We split up into two groups. One was to fetch the meat and drinks and the second was to go get everything ready at the 16. Senior C made his way with the 16 group while we headed out with the meat and drinks group. A short time later, we pulled over into the parking lot of a supermarket……there we pretended we were too tired to go inside. Our Inferno brothers then left us in the car to go fetch the vital supplies.
Lesson no. 1 : NEVER, EVER leave Rebel Ultras in a vehicle, alone, with the keys on the ignition! Its a fantastic recipe for an old school prank!
and so we did!!! The second the inferno walked into the store, we jumped out of the car and into the driver seat and moved the car to another area of the parking lot. Next ….we patiently waited! :) :) A few minutes later the Inferno boys came out and walked to the direction of were the vehicle was initially parked! The look on their faces said it all, and we were tearing with laughter as we observed from inside the “missing” vehicle! Finally, feeling sorry for the bunch (and also feeling kinda hungry) we beeped the horn and made our presence known! The lads were great sports and came over with no sign of offense! A good old fashioned prank, well executed (despite heavy intoxication).
We arrived later at the “16” with all the goods and soon the BBQ was well under way. There were a few mishaps of course (including a potential fire hazard) as you will see in the pictures, but overall the hosts did a smashing job with quenching our thirst and satisfying our hunger.
As the night ensued, more Ultras started joining in and what started out as a quiet family gathering, soon ended up into an extended family fiesta! ! ! A few hours after midnight, all the beers had been consumed and soon we turned our attention to hard alcohol.
Senior C, being tired from the long journey crashed into one of the many rooms leaving us to deal with the Liege local brew…..the Peket! We are fans of hard alcohol but that Peket isn’t one that tickles our fancy. However when “You’re in Rome, do as the Romans do” or when “you’re in Liege ….well you got no other freaking option but to man up and down it!”
We did struggle a bit, we must confess, as the Belgian bottled “Gasoline” does pack a punch on the taste buds, BUT WE KEPT IT IN , as opposed to a couple of our hosts!! Alas we can claim that we survived the challenge! :) soon after the mood was all but merry and the “16” started resembling the Block E3 of the Stade De Sclessin! We vividly remember us standing on some tables and bringing on the Inferno songs. The night was a classic! At some point of course we needed to rest, and since driving (or even stumbling) back to our host’s apartment seemed like an impossible task….we found refuge in a corner of that beautiful place, and amongst brothers we rested.
We again awoke early on and quickly made way with Senior C back to our host for a shower and change.
We were supposed to meet up at 15:00 (on the dot!) with our Hellside brother in order to hitch a ride to Den Bosch to finally come together with the M-side and of course watch the FC Den Bosch home game vs Jong PSV.
After freshening up, we walked quickly to the centre to grab a bus, eating a couple of burgers along the way.
Right on time we met up with our brother and soon, Rebel Ultras, Frente Rojiblanco and the Hellside where all on a two hour drive to Den Bosch.
Todays trip was truly special as it was in Den Bosch that we were to meet up for the first time with our Quartograd brother from Naples-Italy. With Quartograd, being a Rebel Ultras group, we had been talking for a very long time, but NEVER again had met face to face; and our anticipation could not be described.
The Quarto brother was to hitch a ride from Brussels (where he was staying) with some PHK, Inferno and Hellside boys and come meet with us in Den Bosch. so tonight was destined to be a large gathering of Standard in Holland.
Being passengers, we found the opportunity to sleep a bit along the way (yes we know we cheated! :) ) but a couple of hours later we were already downing the first Amstel beers at the Sunshine bar in DB. Minute after minute our Den Bosch brothers started arriving slowly (in their Dutch style Bicycles :) ) and soon the atmosphere was festive and merry.
We personally knew the DB guys and girls from our previous trips but it was all new for Senior C and it was a great feeling being able to bring together Rebel Ultras group from different countries in one tiny but yet so significant place in Holland.
The Amstel glasses really never stopped coming and a bit before the game kick-off, the cars from Brussels finally turned up. The “Don” of Quartograd was here. Also there was Monsieur “S” (Our PHK contact who also travelled with us to Seville). For the first time ever, Rebel Ultras, Frente Rojiblanco Azuaga and Quartograd, occupied the same space along with Inferno, PHK , Hellside and M-side! WOW!!!! From the first minute and the first beer we all felt like we were blood brothers, even though many had never before met in person!!! It was truly great!
Minutes later, we had to make the short walk the FCDB stadium to watch the game. Unfortunately due to state repression around 150 members of the M-side had already received stadium bans this season following a series of stadium incidents with the latest being the events against FC Oss. The ones who hadn’t received stadium bans, refused to attend in solidarity to their Ultras brothers as such there was no Ultras presence at the game; a gesture which we truly acknowledge and support. However we attended the game with the Ouwe Garde (the “old guard”) – the old school boys, and long standing brothers of the Standard Hellside. a brotherhood forged back in 1987, and one of the oldest and most active brotherhoods in Europe up to today. An example of this brotherhood bond was the recent games of Standard in Europe against Feyenoord where bus loads of FCDB supporters attended the games. Some of whom, we were also to see the coming Sunday in Liege at the el Classico and to our knowledge there are surely very few brotherhoods in Europe that are that old and still that actively strong.
During the FCDB encounter we spent most of our time at the stadium bar, drinking with Senior C, the Don and the old school boys. A game without Ultrass, is really not that interesting for us. However, for the record, and keeping up with Rebel Ultras tradition…..FCDB didn’t lose and all ended in a draw.
Following the final whistle we made our way back to the sunshine bar where Rebel Ultras presented the Den Bosch boys and girls with a small token of our long standing relationship and appreciation. A banner which we designed to commemorate their brotherhood with Standard Hellside, depicting the Hellside Bulldog and the Den Bosch dragon , which wrote “You can run but you can’t hide……From Ouwe Garde and Hellside” (see photos). A banner that the DB bunch said that they will often be taking to their games.
Following that, the night was still young, so we made our way to a nice other bar, were a big party was staged. The drinks kept flowing, the music was pumping and we found the opportunity once again to re-unite with an Antira family we know so well. More importantly though, Senior C, the Don and ourselves found the chance to catch up and talk about the future of the movement and common views and plans that need to be manifested in the near future.
With a heavy heart, at one point, we had to bid Den Bosch farewell (until we meet again) and head back to base. I think it must have been around 5:30 am when we arrived back to our host’s apartment in Liege. We were a bit rested (YES! we cheated again and slept on the ride home), so we cracked open another couple beers with Senior C. To our surprise our host wasn’t home, but arrived shortly later, completely “partied” up! At some point he passed out on a mattress in the living room and here is where the second lesson of the day comes in:
Lesson No. 2 NEVER, EVER, pass out when Rebel Ultras is around!
Yes we found it upon ourselves to engage in another little prank! :) We decorated our host with nearly everything that we could find around in the house….from a tequila bottle, to a guitar, to an “orgasm donor” hat, a road-works flash lamp, and much more….we even stuck a Rebel Ultras sticker on his chest and spray painted a happy face around his belly button. Out of respect though for our host…..we will not be publishing any of the incriminating photos! LOL :) :)
Rebel Ultras loves pregames, we love the game days as well of course, but always the build up to a derby is really special!
So we woke up, suprisingly, not that much hangovered as the morning before, and had ourselves a hardy breakfast. We lazied about the apartment for a bit and a few short hours later we were on a bus ride back to the Cosa SL.
Once there we where invited to go and see the making of the Inferno Tifo which was being prepared for the game next day. We couldn’t refuse.
The stadium is only a very short walk away from the fanclub and we quickly were in the area beneath the tribunes where a selected bunch of the Inferno was spray painting the Long tifo destined to decorate the terrace the day later. A giant banner destined to stretch across the length of the tribune which read (in French) “Fight…..with honour & with no mercy”.
We calmly observed as a handful of talented Ultras managed to manufacture this large banner in only a couple of hours time. Truly astonishing! (video can be found on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/rebelultras )
Once the hard work was done, we made our way back to the Cosa to continue the pregame festivities. As a selected bunch of us was drinking, talking and singing the night away; we thought at one point that it would be an early night……but Liege never ceases to surprise us! A group of Inferno walked into the Cosa door with an ample amount of BBQ supplies and soon a lavish feast was being prepared for everyone in attendance. We must point out here that throughout our one week stay in Belgium the weather had been extremely good to us, with sunny days and temperate nights, hardly any cloud in sight!
Soon we were munching and drinking away and it didn’t take long for the “quiet” evening to turn into a proper pregame night! Music was pounding the Cosa sound system, Inferno chants and lovely anti-wankerlecht anthems were being launched by everyone in attendance. It was truly a beautiful deja vu of the so many nights we had passed in the Inferno’s presence.
That night was also very special for us…. as a good Inferno brother had also drove all the way from La Louviere to spend the night with us. We had met this brother about a year ago and had formed a strong Antifa relation with him and his family. He had arrived early on at the Cosa and stayed with us all through the night. At a point along the way we hopped into his car and drove dowtown to a fantastic local rock bar were we spend a few good hours with him and with many other friends.
Later on though we decided to call it an early night (for those who consider 4 am as early LOL) and reserve some voice and some strength for the big match the coming day as such we made our way home for a final night cap and some well earned rest.
ITS FUCKING FOOTBALL DAY!
Sunday was the day and we awoke with a great mood and an aura of confidence. the mood in the air seemed to manifest that today was going to be a Standard day….however even the most optimistic of us would have not expected the sheer treat that was in store for us on that day. A day that we will truly …NEVER FORGET!
There was no time for breakfast that day..it was footie time so we quickly headed to the Sclessin area of Liege.
The food vans had already pulled up along the stadium street and fired up the grills, so Senior C and us quickly treated ourselves to some oh so vital energy reserves! :)
After downing a couple of meals we legged it to the Cosa just a few metres away. Soon the place was being overcrowded with people. Inferno, PHK, Hellside, Den Bosch, St. Pauli, and of course The Quartograd Don had all arrived.
A small corner of Europe playing host to an epic selection of Antira Ultras! What a sight! A wide assortment of people, from various countries, various cultures, all with one common love- Standard and one common goal- Antira! It was truly pleasing for us.
There we had the chance to re-unite with friends that we had not seen since our previous trips, meet people which we had conversed with online but never met in person and above all…..meet new people and make new lifetime Antira connections. What a day! …and the best was about to come……
We downed the drinks, treating ourselves to some local and imported spirits! soon we where in a “fighting” mood, cause this was not an ordinary day, and this was not an ordinary game……it was the El Classico…. The Standard versus the Bastards, the Antifa versus the Nationalists , The ultimate Belgian fight of Yin and Yan, Good vs Evil. and boy where we ready for it! :)
Time passed quickly and we hastily made way to the stadium. Everyone went in…except us and the Don. You see the Rebel Ultras tickets had a problem at the freaking door and we had to walk halfway round the stadium to the ticket office to “re-activate” the darn piece of paper. The don, who also knew French, was kind enough to escort us and act as a translator.
While waiting the long queue at the ticket office the game had already begun! we had missed the bloody tifo and entrance and The don was worried that we would miss the first goals and chances! That was when we told him: “Look bro! Standard will NOT score until Rebel Ultras enters the stadium!” ….maybe it was the beer talking….maybe we have psychic powers ….probably both! :)
At around the 15 minute mark we finally got the bloody tickets re-activated and legged it to the Gates. We hastily entered and climbed quickly up to the Inferno tribune.
AND WE SHIT YOU NOT………..
The SECOND we lay foot inside the tribune…..STANDARD SCORED THE OPENING GOAL!!!!!!
Our shirts quickly came off and hugging and cheering along the way we quickly made it into the core of the Inferno and up on the supporter terrace bars!
We knew almost every Inferno song so we joined in the fun like mad! Screaming our lungs out all along this crazy adventure of a game!
Haltime came and we found ourselves half naked at the stadium bar cheering along with Inferno and Hellside while we quickly sipped our beers to quench our thirst. Soon we were back at it…..like drug addicts in need of their vital dosage of Ultras action.
The second goal came and soon after the third! WHAT A FUCKING TREAT! :)
The party on the terraces was little short of AMAZING and as the wankers pulled back a consolation goal….you could still ONLY hear “STANDARD” in the Sclessin air! It was memorable.
For us 90 minutes, seemed like a flash and soon the game was over. Final score : Standard 3 …wankers 1 ! ….and that was not it!
the players approached the Ultras tribune and a pot potpourri of chants ensued for at least 15 minutes after the game. I could see it in everyones eyes that this was a glorious RED & WHITE day…and one that would definitely not end soon.
In true Inferno fashion we quickly made way back to the Cosa. The afterparty which ensued at the fanclub was little short of EPIC! For hours the music was blasting, beers were being drunk…and hurled …and drunk and people we’re dancing and singing in a glorious festive mood.
Everyone joined in the fun which did not stop for even a second!
Our night was still very young and many hours later we hitched a ride with Monsieur S to catch a Heavy Metal concert at a local and super cool gig venue!
We arrived there and found a lot of the Hellside and yes…we partied and head banged our brains out! Can’t remember much from the bands playing but trust us when we say that on such a day…..it could’ve been Mozart on the loudspeakers (no offense to Classical music fans) …and still we would’ve had a blast!!!
At around 3 am (we think!) the gig was over. But hey! Standard beat the wankers 3-1 …Rebel Ultras was in town…and there was no way in hell we would go to bed that “early”. So with the escort of the Hardcore Hellside bunch we legged it to the local Rock bar we went the night before, to continue the madness. On the way, we saw our host stumbling back to his house with the St.Pauli boys. We couldn’t convince the St.Pauli to join us; but our host didn’t really need any major convincing, so he made a 180 degree turn and joined our march to afterparty galore!
and there we were, Antifa family all huddled up, in a smashing bar and with the widest smiles on our faces. Exchanging stories of old and new until the sun finally came up and there was nobody left in the bar but us …and some exhausted members of the staff! so we made them all a favour and legged it home!
WHAT AN EPIC ENDING TO AN EPIC DAY !
We woke up in a great mood, despite having pounded our bodies and our minds to oblivion and back the day (and night) before!
Nevertheless we said it would be a quiet day that day.
Our co-host had a day off from the bar where he works and offered to take us on a walking tour around liege. For us it was nothing new as we already knew the City off by heart, however it was a great opportunity for Senior C to finally (after 5 days of non stop mayhem) to get to know the city a bit.
So we made our way down to the centre with our host and a couple of Inferno. they were great in pointing out the major sites and explaining the culture and historical significance of each one. After a bit of a walk we headed up to the steps of the citadel. The 374 steps would have seemed formidable to anyone, let alone a hangovered bunch of individuals…..but not us! We are Antifa Ultras and we took those steps in stride (well at least most of us! :) ). A (not so) short time later and we were up at the highest point of Liege, admiring the magnificent view of this hospitable city below us. What a sight!
After a bit we headed back down and to a renowned pub which was known for serving a very good version of the local delicacy ” Boulettes à la liégeoise”. A meatball dish customary for liege, with Sauce Lapin (rabbit sauce…although Rabbit is not amongst the ingredients!) :) Truly if you are a meat lover and go to Liege, try this dish out…it will NOT disappoint!
We kept walking around the city till late afternoon when it was time to head back to the Cosa. You see a member of the Antifa of Ukraine was scheduled to make a presentation on the Ukranian crisis and we showed our interest to attend and learn more information from someone who had first hand experience in all the troubles.
At around 19:00 the presentation begun and the whole process lasted for around 2 hours. At many times during the lengthy and detailed presentation Rebel Ultras asked many probing questions to the speaker. We had heard a lot of various information regarding the actions of Antifa Ukraine in the months that had passed since the beginning of the Maydan and the crisis and wanted to hear the version of the story directly from someone who experienced the events. We did receive many interesting answers which clarified a lot of the events and will help us in our future research on the particular crisis. Future research which will aid in us forming solid opinions about what stance to pursue regarding the events. For now we reserve to note that we truly hope that the whole mess ends quickly, because like any War….the true victims are the ordinary people who are helpless in the hands of rich capitalist, power-hungry, oligarchs and politicians.
Following the talk we had a few drinks at the Cosa bar and then bid farewell to the bulk of our Inferno brothers as the next day we were destined to move and spend a night in Brussels (as this would have made it easier for us to catch our very early morning flight on day 8).
so we caught a bus and walked back to the apartment……………………..HOLD ON!!!!!
You thought it was over?!?!
Not so fast! You see Liege did so much for us, so we had to give something back! Therefore on the way home we stopped at a local corner store and cleaned up the store’s supply of Jupiler beers. …After a short bargaining session with the store owner, we managed to get an ample supply of the Belgian brew at a good price and headed back for an impromptu final “session”. A couple of Ultras brothers were also on their way over with some food…..fortunately for us we forgot to mention that we HAD already picked up beers on the way; so they also turned up with an ample supply !
now we had a fridge loaded with drinks, a quiet apartment and a nice Rebel Family atmosphere…….. and so the final session (in Liege) begun!
It may have not been as wild as the previous nights but nevertheless it was very important and memorable. It is always memorable in Liege, despite the memory lapses! :)
Many hours later, all the beers had been consumed and we finally had to call the Liege session over and give a warm thank you to our brothers for everything they had done for us (once again); hoping to return the favour the next time we meet…on our own turf!
The FINAL day had arrived.
Senior C and ourselves stumbled unwillingly out of bed and slowly started to pick our pieces together and pack our luggage. A few hours later our host kindly drove us to Guillemins rail station were we bid him a hearty farewell and boarded the train to Brussels.
Upon arrival in Brussels we were met by our Inferno contact and with our luggage in our hands we legged it down to the centre and some bars.
A couple of Inferno and The Don soon finished their chores and met up with us and so begun the final, quiet night.
We hopped around a few bars along the way and sat and talked about everything that had happened and all that was meant to come.
The movement is stronger than ever and it is this strength, unity and feeling of family that guides our actions and makes what we do…..what we believe…and what we fight, for truly important; this is why we shall continue our cause , with even more strength in the future. For it is both our destiny, our conscious choice and above all our DUTY!
At around midnight the time had come. We had to part with all the rest (including our Spanish “commando” -Senior C) as we had a really early flight out of Brussels to catch; and therefore had to make way to an Inferno home to get a couple of hours rest before the long trip back home.
We cannot lie and say that the parting was not emotional; however we rest assured that the more we communicate, the more we persevere for what we truly believe and the more we arrange such trips and such get-togethers everywhere – all Antira Ultras- around the world…the stronger and more UNBREAKABLE our bonds and our actions become,
and it is with this promise that we will close this report.
Until we meet again amigos…………
IN THE STREETS AND ON THE TERRACES!
or as the French Speakers say…