Welcome to our website „Grief meets Football“.
The topics mourning and death are particularly visible in football. Just think of the minute of silence, the black armband or the displays for deceased players or fans.
The motivation for this project came from Carmen’s own experience that, after the death of two of her children, football gave her the opportunity to recharge her batteries, to switch off and let all her feelings run free for 90 minutes.
Since 2006, she has been collecting clippings, fanzines, football magazines, interviews, photos, essays etc. that deal with both football and mourning.
Carmen’s collections have been included in a scientific paper in which she investigated the question what happens when football and grief “meet”. Which contribution can football make to grief culture?
Team and focus of the project
The project was initiated by Carmen in September 2018 with support from Tobi. Tanja joined them in July 2019. In 2020, David, Inga and Torsten joined the project as freelancers and since 2021 Mattes supports us with fantastic graphic designs. Our latest addition to the team is our “English correspondent” Andrea who joined end of October 2023 and who supports our Instagram account.
We are all football fans from different cities, support different clubs, some of us are club members and season ticket holders.
Together we share the love of football which tells so many stories of grief, of suffering, of beautiful and sad moments, of happiness, of dreams, of hope and of everything that life is about and all that it involves – in good times and bad.
One focus of the project is ”football as a resource“ in times of grief.
In addition to the German grief culture in football, our project has developed a second focus on the football memorial culture in the UK.
In 2019, Carmen visited London to get a first insight into the English memorial culture. Amongst others, she spoke to the former Reverend of Queens Park Rangers. At QPR it is possible to bury ashes of deceased fans behind the goal line. You can find Carmen’s article and some photos in a pdf-file here (in German).
Here’s what the project offers:
We have developed several services: We offer lectures on the subject matter, we consult fans, fan clubs, clubs – grassroots and professional, we collect interviews and we have developed an online training „How to deal with grieving fans and club members“.Carmen has also been a guest speaker on several podcasts and published articles in magazines.
In addition to „Grief meets Football“, we started a second project called „Trauer unterm Flutlicht“ (Grief under the Floodlights) in January 2022, together with KickIn!, a central advisory office for inclusion in football. The aim of this project is to establish grief culture within 1st and 2nd German division football clubs, focusing on fans and club members.To this end, we launched a network of club employees and 1st and 2nd Bundesliga ‚fan projects‘ which develops recommendations for action. Hamburger SV was our first cooperation partner and we currently collaborate with Hertha BSC. The DFL’s (Deutsche Fußball Liga / German Football Association) Pool for the Promotion of Innovative Football and Fan Culture (PFiFF) supports this project.
We hope that with this project we can contribute to keeping the topics death and mourning alive (if you pardon the pun).
One thing is certain: Sooner or later we will all die, but “Don’t worry, there will be football in heaven, too“, as the famous German football player Uwe Seeler once said.
English press releases about us
In November 2021, Chris Law wrote in the „Libero Magazine. The Alternative Football Periodical“ (Issue 2 – Culture) about grief and football ”Most important of the least important things“: Grief in football. He also wrote about our project and our work.
In September 2021, the journalist Nick Miller wrote an article in „The Athletic“ about grief and football ”It’s an exclusive club that no one ever wishes to be a part of – When football helps us grieve“. For this piece he talked to Carmen about the project.
The football-fan-come-culture-journalist Felix Tamsut wrote an article in summer 2020 about our project in the English speaking fanzine „Halb Vier“ (Issue3). „Grief in Football“ can be downloaded as a pdf file. A big thank you to “Halb Vier“ who made this possible.
Please support us
We are looking for football fans who will send us their photos of (fan) tributes or mourning displays, empty seats, minutes of silence and/or graffiti artwork about mourning and football. We are happy to receive photos from anywhere!
Follow us on X @Trauer_Fussball | Instagram @trauer_fussball | Bluesky @trauerfussball.bsky.social and get in touch.
We search social media (facebook, twitter, instagram) for clues about grief and football (articles, fanzines, press clippings).
We also welcome football fans who tell us how football has supported them in their grief or what else they have to say about grief and football.
We appreciate feedback, enquiries, hints. If you have suggestions how to support the project, please feel free to contact us at any time.
We are also very interested in networking. Simply get in touch with us.
You can send an email to: email@example.com
We are looking forward to hearing from you!
THANK YOU for your support!