Updated: Feb 8
Welcome to another special visit to the Cave, this time writing on the Walls is Brad DeMunbrun from the Infamous long time Supporters Group of football in St. Louis, The St. Louligans. The Louligans have been around the soccer community in STL for a long time, about 12 years going on 13 and have been supporting soccer at all levels in STL from The STL Lions to defunct teams like Piasa Illinois and STLFC and now the team we have all been eagerly awaiting, STL City SC. As is to be expected of a group with such a long history we sat down for an extended chat with Brad to get a better idea of what actually makes the group tick and here I am to bring the conversation echoing out of the Cave to you the reader.
Starting all the way back in 2010 with the creation of AC STL, there were a bunch of small groups that got together to make the umbrella of The Louligans to create some cohesion. When the team folded the supporters stayed together for the love of the game until pro soccer came back with STLFC. With the new team, numbers began to swell again, and along came the organized events, merch, and Charity Du Jour to give back to the community we all hail from. As long as you love soccer and are willing to Show Up and Make Noise, there is a spot for you in The Louligans.
As the group has grown so have the pre-match festivities. Up until now the Match Day "pregame parties" were in the parking lots of the venues surrounding a trailer with flags and tents, there is now an "Official Spot". Going forward for City matches just across from CITYPark, at the Schlafly Taproom the street will be blocked off as Louligan Street. Everyone is welcome at these prematch events, in true Louligan style. Despite the perceived connection to the old school "hooligans", this group is more open and welcoming than anything. As long as you show up, you will find your place in the group, "You will find your people" as Brad puts it. There is a group for everyone, and if nothing else you have something in common with everyone there, the love of the game. Its this level of comradery that has led to the formation of other SGs. While there are smaller niches that these groups fill they all serve the purpose of bringing people together, to foster community amongst fans.
The feeling of community extends beyond the stands with the Charity Du Jour, CDJ for short. Many years ago while on a road trip for a game, Brad and crew met up with the rival supporters for pre- and post-match festivities and noticed they had a small donation bucket at the merch tent. Brad liked the idea and the CDJ began. Bringing the idea back to STL, they began accepting donations to various charities around the area that the group felt needed support. As the concept blossomed it eventually was noticed by the club and donations were eventually matched by STLFC. In the years since the CDJ began, the Louligans have raised something around $250K for various charities along the way and look to continue to do so for the foreseeable future through merch sales, raffles at prematch, and the ever-present CDJ bucket.
Brad covered a lot of of ground in our chat and if you have some time to fill and would like to hear the whole conversation, you can find it by searching for Soccer Capitol on your favorite podcatcher and finding the episode labeled "Throw In - Getting Supportive feat. Brad DeMunbrun". If you like what you read/heard and want to learn more, you can find a more in depth history of the group on their website ( stlouligans.com ), and you can find the Louligans on Twitter (@StLouligans), Instagram (@StLouligans), and their podcast: This Is Silly Podcast.
As always, thanks you for reading, Bye for now!
(Photo Credits to Will Bramlett @YBrammer, Twitter)