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“We are blue” – Saying goodbye to China’s best fans

It was a Saturday of tears in Dalian as the home side, Dalian Shide, played their last match in front of their loyal fans. As a thank you to their loyal fans, the club that is was known for its titles is no more. Whether Shide merges with Aerbin or another solution is found, there will be no Dalian Shide next season.

When pressed to answer which club has the best supporters section in China, most people would grudgingly admit that it’s probably Shide’s Blue Wave (蓝色激浪).  They have a special relationship with the club and its players and are one of the few fan sections in the country that are allowed to light flares (here’s a video of them lighting flares (and banners) after Saturday’s match). The uniqueness of that relationship can be seen when former Shide star Ahn Jung-hwan came over from Korea to watch a game in the Blue Wave section or when a Shide player grabs a Blue Wave flag and waves it post-match. Their tifo displays are regularly some of the biggest and best that can be seen.

Few supporters sections in China don’t sing at least one song that was originally “brought into the country” by the Blue Wave and fewer can deny being influenced by them in some way. 左边 (“Leftie”), the head of the Blue Wave, is well known among fans across the country, many who’ve spent late nights drinking with him and the rest of the Blue Wave. As fans of any CSL club, today it’s important to stand alongside the Shide supporters and recognize the reality of modern football “with Chinese characters”, that any club can meet a similar fate.

It wasn’t only hard for the fans, some players found it difficult to say goodbye, especially some of the guys who are from Dalian and who came up through the youth system into Shide’s first team.

Just for today, I stand beside the Blue Wave and shout out “we are blue!”

 

Brandon Chemers aka B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – is a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese blogosphere. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Wild East Football and is one of the lonely souls writing about Chinese football in English for the last 10 years. Chemers' credentials are second to none – his former blog focused not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese blogosphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. For WEF, beyond writing about Guoan, he often focuses on fan culture and the business of Chinese football.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Chris Atkins

    05/11/2012 at 12:30

    Terrible to see this happen to such a great club. They were the first Chinese club I was ever really aware of and, given their support and history, will be a great loss. It’s a massive shame if nothing can be done. Well said – “We are Blue”

  2. Damian Jones

    05/11/2012 at 12:34

    What’s happened? What have I missed? Why are Shide disbanding?

  3. shanghai ultra

    05/11/2012 at 12:43

    No al calcio moderno

  4. Martin Kuroczik

    08/11/2012 at 21:15

    We are blue! Like the sentiment of solidarity here. It’s a pity, I am sorry for the fans but intrigued what the future holds for the remains of the club and what shall become of it, this could mean a lot of infrastructure assets and hardware as well as soft skills would change hands and I am hopeful that not all of it will disappear. A’erbin’s setup appears to be one not to be pushed about and they also seem serious about football and Dalian is a good city for it – it has the soft skills if you like. At least this is my interpretation of current affairs.

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