INSPIRED BY HANNOVER 96

Perth Glory was contacted by Hannover 96 recently enquiring about the use of '96' in the supporter flags. It began an interesting chain of emails which resulted in an article being published on the Bundesliga club's website. Read the full translated copy here.

Perth Glory was contacted by Hannover 96 recently enquiring about the use of '96' in the supporter flags. It began an interesting chain of emails which resulted in an article being published on the Bundesliga club's website. Read the full translated copy here.

Since 2012, a purple 96-emblem has been flying on a flag on the other side of the world. This is the work of Australian football fans with great admiration for German fan culture, something they are trying to replicate Down Under.

96 - a very special number There are exactly 13,816.96km separating Hannover and the Western Australian city of Perth. It is fate that 96 comes after the decimal point, because it-s that number that links the two cities, after some fans of football team Perth Glory chose to base their new flag on the Hannover 96 emblem. There are 100 years between the founding years of the two clubs (Hannover in 1896, Perth Glory in 1996) and a trip to the other side of the world separating the fans, though their intention is the same - getting behind “their” side and motivating them to top performances with their support. That intent led several members of the fan club Glory Fans United (GFU) to come together on an afternoon in October 2012 and think up new ideas for their banners and flags.

Follow German fan culture-s example Football isn-t the most popular sport in Australia, so with the fan culture lacking an identity, GFU members decided to take a look at how things were done abroad in search of inspiration for chants, flags and choreography. They soon stumbled upon Germany, which certainly provided a useful role model with its internationally recognised league and fan communities. “The active support in German football is often something we fans discuss. We see your fans and those from other Bundesliga clubs as a target we want to reach,” wrote a Glory fan when describing the origin of his flag. One of his friends suggested using the Hannover 96 emblem for a new flag because he particularly admired the fan support in Hannover and the number also fit perfectly.

Positive reaction from other fans The self-made flag with the number 96 (along with eight other flags and banners) can be seen at all of Perth Glory-s games and has been received well by other fans. The positive reaction wasn-t just because the flag brought more colour to the stands; many of the Australian fans recognised the Hannover emblem and supported the link to the Bundesliga and the aim to replicate their fan culture. Just three months later, a second version of the flag was made, this time a printed one, that other Glory fans 4,000km away in New South Wales put together based on the original flag.

Background: Who are Perth Glory? Perth Glory is a privately run football club founded in 1996 and was the first Western Australian side to join the National Soccer League (NSL) and soon celebrated success there. They just missed out on a place in the championship play-offs with 7th and 8th-placed finishes in their first two seasons, with only the top six sides gaining entry. The club gained some special popularity from Germany in 1999 with the appointment of former East Germany manager Bernd Stange, who helped them to the NSL final in the 1999/2000 season, although they missed out on the title in a penalty shootout. A major success wasn-t far off though. The 2002/03 season saw them win the title, one they defended a year later before the NSL was disbanded in 2004. Since then, Perth Glory have played in the subsequently formed A-League, in which they are yet to win a title.

A funny coincidence In fact, there already was a link between the German and the Australian club, namely through Frank Juric. The Australian-Croatian goalkeeper played for the Reds between 2004 and 2008, but returned to his home country for his final professional season and was signed up by Perth Glory. However, the flag creators hadn-t picked up on this link with the majority too young to remember Juric-s playing career. It took a hint from Hannover before the link with the former goalkeeper helped strengthen the decision to use the 96-emblem.