September 21, 1980, is the official birth date of the organized Zenit fan movement. On this day 44 fans who usually sat together in the 33rd sector at the old Kirov Stadium went to a Zenit away match in Moscow as a group. And it`s unlikely that those young men who were at the source of the movement could imagine at the time what the movement would become in the future. It`s especially satisfying to know that some of those same fans who were in the movement 30 years ago still attend Zenit matches at Petrovsky Stadium.
By Russian (and even Soviet) standards, the Zenit fan movement is one of the oldest in the country. It`s noteworthy that the Zenit fan movement never disappeared, even when Zenit was playing in the first division, and only 150 people would come to home matches. Both away and at home the team always had support at every match. And what can you say – a lot has happened in 30 years! This week is a real celebration for Zenit`s most dedicated fans, who are proud of their traditions. It`s not a sin to celebrate this anniversary in full force, reminiscing about the most incredible moments in Zenit`s history, and to give respect to those thanks to whom this was all possible.
There was an enormous party this past Friday in one of St. Petersburg`s famous night clubs in the northern district of the city. About 2,000 people came to the party. The party was hosted by Ruslan and Makasin, two guys who get the crowed going at Petrovsky Stadium. These guys have no trouble getting big crowds excited, and everything went smooth and confidently this time around too. Besides the two MCs, Zenit`s oldest fans also came onto the stage - the true veterans of the Zenit fan movement. Many different fans, including FC Zenit employees, Zenit-84 veterans, players, and musicians all congratulated the fan movement and its founders.
Besides congratulating the “old” fans, the crowd was also given a presentation of the book “Blue-white-light blues: 30 Years of the Zenit Fan Movement,” which is currently being prepared for publication. Soon after the film “Our Name is “Zenit” was shown a large screen to the audience. The musical part of the celebration was designed to suit all age groups, ranging from an explosive set by Arni with the presentation of a new song and the shooting of a new music video, to famous fan hits by ILWT, and songs known to all from NEP and Bivney.
Even though the party was organized by regular fans, not professionals, it was held on a very high level. The party showed that Zenit`s fans are ready for future anniversaries too.
The celebrating continued into the next day at the match with Saturn: the fan sectors made a large-scale performance dedicated to the anniversary of the fan movement. An enormous banner with the logo “Fans 1980” was displayed in the center of the fan sector. Around the banner fans held hundreds of small Zenit flags, the very same flags that every fan dreamed of getting his hands on 30 years ago! Pieces of cardboard were attached to the railing with the words “Leningrad-St. Petersburg, while on the sides of the central banner there were other banners with pictures which symbolize two large epochs in the history of the Zenit fan movement.
The whole match was played in a celebratory atmosphere, and Zenit gave the fans the best gift (how could it have done anything else!), winning the match 6:1!