Union Berlin fans pay emotional tribute to dead supporters who never got to see a Bundesliga match

Union Berlin fans unfurled images of dead supporters during the club’s first ever Bundesliga match, paying tribute to those who never got to witness a top-flight game.

The Iron Ones began life in the Bundesliga with a 4-0 defeat at home to RB Leipzig, but while the result was pretty forgettable, the unique atmosphere was not.

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Union Berlin remembered those who weren’t around to witness the historic occasion
Getty – Contributor

Only the travelling fans could be heard during the opening 15 minutes, as Union Berlin supporters staged a silent protest against their club’s opponents.

Leipzig are not the most popular team in German football, having climbed up the league system thanks largely to the cash injection of Red Bull since the club’s inception in 2009.

Union Berlin, on the other hand, believe they represent the true values of football, and this was certainly the case before kick-off.

In a touching moment, home fans held up posters of deceased supporters, so they could be there for the historic occasion.

The stadium erupted with noise in the 15th minute when the protest concluded, but they were stunned back into silence when the visitors took the lead a minute later.

Marcel Halstenberg opened the scoring for Leipzig, before Marcel Sabitzer and Timo Werner added two more goals before the break.

Substitute Christopher Nkunku completed the rout in the second half to well and truly spoil the party at the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei.

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It was not the start Union Berlin hoped for
Getty – Contributor

Nonetheless, the occasion represented the first time a football club from the old East Berlin had competed in the Bundesliga, with their biggest previous achievement a triumph in the 1968 East German Cup.

Union Berlin emerged under their current name in 1966, but they can be traced back to 1906, when predecessor FC Olympia Oberschoneweide was founded.

They were promoted to the top flight for the first time in their long history after beating Stuttgart in a two-legged play-off last May.

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