Punjabi Rams and Punjabi Wolves join forces as part of Fans For Diversity initiative
The Punjabi Rams and Punjabi Wolves Supporters joined forces in November 2014 to promote their clubs to the fans of both teams, with around 100 fans getting involved. The event was supported by the FSF and Kick It Out who helped to organise and partly fund the event via the ‘Fans for Diversity’ fund.
Coming together for the Wolves vs Derby County fixture, the groups created a party atmosphere despite the wintry conditions. Anwar was in attendance along with Anna Jӧnsson from Kick It Out for the pitchside pre-game presentation – the two Punjabi groups produced a banner for Remembrance Sunday, carrying the poppy and their logos.
Both supporters’ groups are open to fans from any background and they hope their joint event will encourage locals to sample the matchday experience for themselves. The ‘Fans for Diversity’ fund provided the money for both groups to design and purchase new flags, which accompany their fans home and away.
While football is extremely popular in the Asian community, many supporters have never been to a game. The matchday “habit” is often formed as a child, with parents or grandparents taking kids to the game.
But that formative influence isn’t always there for young Asians, so Punjabi Rams and Punjabi Wolves Supporters hope actions like this will show that football is a welcoming environment for fans from all backgrounds.
Punjabi Wolves Supporters are now into their seventh season while Punjabi Rams are newly-formed, although founder Pav Samra has been going to Derby County for 24 seasons. Both groups are now members of the FSF, and are particularly keen to get involved in the FSF’s core campaigns. Ticket prices, cost of travel, kick-off times and safe standing are issues that affect Punjabi fans as much as any other.
“We gave them a footballing lesson on the pitch but what the Punjabi Wolves Supporters have done acts very much as a blueprint for what we want to achieve here in Derby,” Pav said. “They bring coach-loads of supporters to away matches, there is always a party atmosphere with them and no trouble at all.”
His counterpart at Punjabi Wolves, Andy Sahota, reiterated the message: “Supporters of all colours and religions travel with us because they know they will have a good time and not come across any bother.”