One Dortmund supporter's video Yellow Wall

Posted by Stephan Uersfeld

Note: The above video was recorded April 30, 2011, when Dortmund clinched their first Bundesliga title in nine years.

By the time the 2012-13 season ends in May, Borussia Dortmund will have drawn 1,800,000 fans during their home games this season, a number Dortmund CEO Aki Watzke called "incredible".

With over 50,000 season-ticket holders, more than half those fans have been there for nearly every home game. This is one of their stories.

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"That’s my very own Benfica," Peter, a guy way into his 50s, shouted into his cellphone following Dortmund's 2-1 win over Real Madrid during the Champions League group stage in October.

In December 1963, Dortmund beat a Benfica side that had been in the three previous finals of the European Cup and lifted the trophy twice. But that night in December 1963, Borussia Dortmund nullified Benfica and sent them home with a 5-0 drubbing.

Stories of fans climbing the trees of Dortmund's old Rote Erde stadium, waiting patiently for kick off for several hours during a cold winter night, have been traded down by generations of Dortmund fans. In 1963, Peter was 5 years old, but like every Dortmund boy he was fed the club's history from day one. He has been a Dortmund supporter for as long as he can remember and just like in one of the club anthem’s his kids were raised with the same passion and can be found somewhere in the Westfalenstadion on match days.

When walking through the streets of Dortmund and heading towards the Westfalenstadion (also known as Signal-Iduna Park), Peter stops and greets the folks who share the same love and therefore have become family. Inside the Dortmund stadium, he chats away the minutes before the games with stewards he has known for most of his life. Chances are, he will invite you for post-match beer in the historic but secluded Rote Erde pub.

These days Peter can most certainly be found in one of the corners of Westfalenstadion. Standing there, he directs his camera at the Sudtribune and the other stands to document Borussia Dortmund’s fanatic supporters during the games.

He then heads straight home to edit the videos and upload them for waiting fans all over the world. "If it had not been for those videos," an English BvB fan once told me, "I might have never come over to see Borussia in action."

Peter has done a fantastic job with his huge archive of footage of Westfalenstadion exploding, singing, roaring and celebrating, and transported the image of Borussia Dortmund and its fearsome Yellow Wall like few others have been able to do.

"Really, the best moment I ever had in the Westfalenstadion was on May 12th, 2007," Peter says, adding: "We crushed them." It was one of the turning points in Dortmund’s recent history.

Only a couple of weeks before, Dortmund slowly tumbled towards relegation and sat close to the bottom of the league with only a handful of games left to play. And Schalke, who Peter only refers to as "them", "the smurfs" or "the Blues", were close to winning their first league title in 49 years.

But that day, Dortmund ended Schalke's dreams when Alex Frei and Ebi Smolarek scored for Borussia and Schalke could not.

Being a truck driver - every once in a while - Peter travels to Gelsenkirchen to pick up freight. Before entering the city limits, he makes sure to have some black and yellow inside his cabin. Sometimes, when leaving Gelsenkirchen with a truckload of steel, he stops his machine, picks up his cell phone and gives me a shout.

Those stories all start and end the same and they are always a good laugh. "A young lad walked up to me and said something about the weekend," is how Peter Hausmann usually starts those short stories. "I just asked him: You were born in '58? He did not say a word." Schalke 04 won their last championship in 1958.

Peter breathes Borussia, as do most of the 580.000 inhabitants of Dortmund. Arriving at Dortmund Hauptbahnhof (centre train station) on a match day, heading outside toward the big stairs leading into the city centre, there are only two colours to be seen - black and yellow. Even on the streets of Dortmund’s suburbs the dominant, the only colours are black and yellow. "All these fans know what our club has gone through," Watzke said, before, just like Peter, reflecting on the club's recent history.

"Eight years ago Borussia Dortmund were finished, and now we belong to the crème of European football," he said. In order to achieve a full return to the elite of European football, die Schwarzgelben must beat Malaga Tuesday night, with the possible unbeaten elimination looming over Borussia following their goalless draw at Malaga's La Rosaleda last week.

Some 65,000 fans will be inside the Westfalenstadion to watch the homegrown talents of Marco Reus, Mario Gotze, Kevin Grosskreutz, Ilkay Gundogan and Nuri Sahin, all born or raised within a 35-kilometer radius of the Westfalenstadion, trying to reach the Champions League semi-finals. "When I think about what a great semi-final it could be with Barcelona, Real Madrid, with Bayern Munich - then we have every right to say: we play at the highest level in Europe," Watzke said.

Whatever happens, Peter will have his camera ready to shoot more footage of the incredible Borussia Dortmund comeback story and capture the action in the stands for future generations to treasure. "We want to make Westfalenstadion rock with our fans. Until now it has been the perfect Champions League season for us. It should stay that way," said Grosskreutz, who knows the Dortmund supporters can be the deciding 12th man Tuesday.

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