By John Lyons
The term ‘football family’ is commonly bandied about, but an unlikely link up between Sittingbourne and a professional Danish club proves it really does exist.
The partnership was the brainchild of Sittingbourne FC Supporters’ Club chairman Mark Chapman.
The 45-year-old has lived in Copenhagen for the last 14 years and wondered if bringing the Brickies together with his local team in Denmark, Fremad Amager, would be possible a couple of years ago.
“At first I thought it could be a bit of a challenge – no-one knows Sittingbourne FC in Denmark and no-one knows of Fremad Amager in England,” he said.
“It started off with me writing to both sets of fans on Facebook to see whether there was an appetite for it. Fortunately, something clicked and both sides of the North Sea seemed really up for it.
“I saw a lot of similarities between the Brickies and the Blue and White Angels, one of Fremad Amager’s supporters’ clubs. The people are down-to-earth and friendly-going.”
The bond between the clubs was cemented when Sittingbourne sent flowers to the funeral of popular Amager fan Rene Weiss.
“A group of fans later came over from Denmark and they were so well looked after,” said Chapman. “There was a similar outcome when the Sittingbourne fans went over.
“The relationship had gone beyond my wildest dreams – I’m really proud of the work everyone has done. A friendly between the clubs in the future would be the icing on the cake.”
Like most, Isthmian South East Division Sittingbourne have seen their finances take a hit due to the coronavirus pandemic. A Crowdfunder to help raise money has already had a positive response – with their friends from the Danish second tier chipping in.
“Around £350 of the £5,000 raised has come from Denmark – from the supporters and one of their players,” added Chapman. “That is quite touching and greatly appreciated.”