Fortuna Düsseldorf fans to return to Ipswich next year

170 fans from the Fortuna Blues branch in Germany enjoying Portman Road

170 fans from the Fortuna Blues branch in Germany enjoying Portman Road - Credit: Gregg Brown

A group of Fortuna Düsseldorf fans is set to make its return to Ipswich next year for the annual "Fortuna Blues" tour.

The group, formed by Fortuna legend Ulli Münsterberg and friend Friedie Schacht, is known for bringing the noise to Portman Road every January, having first visited the town in 2006.

Fortuna fans enjoying a trip to Portman Road in 2020 Picture: CLAUDIA PÖTSCHKE

German fans of Fortuna Düsseldorf enjoying an Ipswich game at Portman Road - Credit: CLAUDIA PÖTSCHKE

The fan club has now got more than 1,000 members from both teams, with fans of both clubs regularly travelling the continent to cheer each other on.

The official trip was unable to take place this year due to the pandemic, although Mr Münsterberg said fans are looking forward to returning to watch the Blues play Lincoln City on New Year's Day.

He said: "I hope everything goes well and there won't be another virus wave ahead of us.

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"If everything goes well, it will be a New Year's Eve trip and we will be welcoming 2022 en route to England. That will include a massive party then.

"Cancelling our annual pilgrimage in 2021 was almost the worst case scenario for our project. Only the vessel on the channel sinking en route to Dover would have been worse."

Ipswich fans with Fortuna Blues founding member Friedie Schacht at a friendly game Picture: GERALD

Fortuna Blues fans watching the two clubs play in Meppen, Germany in 2019 - Credit: Gerald Olley

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He is expecting as many as 50 fans to make the trip, with the complications of the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit thought to see a lower than the usual figure closer to 200.

Another bus could be organised should interest be high, however.

Other than just missing the rapturous reception they receive on arrival in Suffolk's county town and seeing an Ipswich victory, Mr Münsterberg said he is even looking forward to the long coach journey

The 'Fortuna Blues' have been making regular trips to Portman Road for years. Photo: Archant

The fan club has been visiting Ipswich every January since 2006 - Credit: Gregg Brown

He said: "Believe it or not, I am most looking forward to the annual routine. It has been a part of our lives since 2006 now.

"We usually start to plan the journey from August every year, getting everything organised first. Then meet up with all the lads here in Düsseldorf the night we start with a few drinks.

"I miss the midnight parties on the ferry en route. The arrival in Ipswich when even motorists are blowing their horns to welcome us.

"The breakfast at Rob and Clare in Bears. Meeting up with our English friends. Arriving in Düsseldorf the following morning and everybody asking 'when are we going back to Ipswich?'"

Members of Fortuna Blues Supporters Club handed their contribution towards the Kevin Battie Statue C

Ulli Münsterberg, centre, handing a donation towards the Kevin Beattie statue - Credit: Archant

Mr Münsterberg added the Fortuna Blues are hoping for the best with Town's new American owners, saying it is "great" to see Ed Sheeran more involved in the club.

"Up or down, we follow the Town," he added.

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