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Who is ultras?

An Ultras has no name, only good friends know him. An Ultras has no face, most of the time a hood is covering his head, a scarf covering his mouth. An Ultras doesn’t dress like others and doesn’t follow trends and like the latest. When he walks the streets even though he has no supporter logos he is recognizable. An Ultras attacks if attacked, and helps when needed, they don’t stop being ultras as soon as they take their scarf off and return home, they battle 7 days a week.
An experienced Ultras leads an example to the youth, the youth have respect for the older Ultra. The young ultras are proud while standing next to someone more experienced, they learn from the critics of the older Ultras, they go red when given a handshake from them. When normal people look at an ultra they don’t understand him, but he doesn’t want to be understood, or explain what he is about. Every ultra is different: there are those who wear supporter logos or club colors and those who have never had those things in their life. There are those who travel only with their group and those who are individuals and are their own group.
Ultras are different, but what unites them is their love for their club, their persistence to stay 90 minutes on their feet during the rain or cold, they are united by the warmth from chanting at full voice, united while sleeping in a half-drunk state on a train that is taking them from an away game, united by the convoy through the center of the away teams city, united by one sandwich which is shared amongst four of them after many hours of hunger, united by one shared cigarette, united by one look, by one ideal, by a one and only mentality.

All the things which unite us together, at the same time distance us from the rest of the world: from worried parents, from stupefied cousins, from scared school peers or co-workers, and from non-tolerating teachers or boss. Ultras is not vandalism or violence without reason, it is a persistant defence of a way of life, that has now fell in crisis because of social problems, because of stupid televisions, because of discos which attract more and more youth but most of all because of UN-JUSTIFIABLE REPRESSION. (by police and federations)

Being an ultra is all this and alot more, emotions and passion which you cant explain in words to people who dont wish to understand, and who would rather simply turn their heads and continue living behind glass, people who would never have balls to break that peice of glass and enter our world!

The origin of the ultras movement is disputed, with many groups from various countries making claims on the basis of their dates of foundation. The level of dispute and confusion is aided by a contemporary tendency (mainly in Europe) to categorize all groups of overtly fanatical supporters as ultras. Supporters groups of a nature comparable to the ultras have been present in Hungary since 1929. The Ferencváros’s Fradi-szív was founded in January 1929. The team supporters were invited in a small rented office near Jozsef yard, it was announced that it would have been possible register as a supporter member or as simple member from next Wednesday, in the same office at ten o clock. In three hours were registered 84 new members as supporters, after two days the number increased to over 1000 registered supporters, after a month the registered supporters were around 4000. The members, depending on the type of subscription, paid a different monthly fee. After a day or two, everyone received a membership card, a white card for the simple members, a green card for the supporter members.There was a name on the card but no photo. The members of group were allowed : forming a part of the B stand fans, get a badge that they had to wear over his heart. Supporters groups of a nature comparable to the ultras were also present in Brazil since 1939, when the first torcida organizada was formed. Inspired by the torcidas and the colorful scenes of the 1950 World Cup, supporters of Hajduk Split formed Torcida Split on 28 October 1950. The group is often cited as the oldest ultras/torcida style group in Europe.

The country most associated with the ultras movement is Italy. The first Italian ultras groups were formed in 1951, including the Fedelissimi Granata of Torino. The 1960s saw the continuing spread and development of the culture with the formation of the Fossa dei Leoni and Boys San groups, the former often regarded in Italy as the first full-fledged ultras group. The term Ultras was used as a name for the first time in 1969 when supporters of Sampdoria formed the Ultras Tito Cucchiaroni and fans of Torino formed the Ultras Granata. The style of support that would become synonymous with Italian football developed most during the 1970s as more groups formed and the active support of the ultras became more apparent, in contrast with the “traditional” culture. Choreographic displays, signature banners and symbols, giant flags, drums and fireworks became the norm as groups aimed to take their support to higher levels. The decade also saw the violence and unrest of Italian society at the time overlap with the ultras movement, adding a dimension that has plagued it ever since.

The ultras movement spread across Europe during the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, starting with the countries geographically closest to Italy. The effects on the footballing cultures of the countries involved were more profound in some and less in others, as a certain level of organization amongst fans and/or a tradition of colorful support would have long been present in many countries. Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, three countries whose footballing cultures were more influenced by British football in the past, experienced significant change. English football is a rare example of a footballing culture in Europe which hasn’t been heavily influenced by the ultras movement.

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