Date: 9th June 2008 at 3:22pm
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When you hear the word ‘ultras’, I bet you a fiver the first word you think of is ‘hooligans’. Well, let me correct you.

The word ‘ultra’ is Latin for beyond. It is believed the longest running ultra group is Torcida Split of Croatia, supporters of Hadjuk Split, who were founded in 1950. Since then the ultras culture has spread all around the globe. And us at Aberdeen are lucky to have the longest running, and number one, ultra group in the UK.

The Red Ultras, as they call themselves, have no connections to hooliganism whatsoever. Their sole aims are to increase the atmosphere, put on successful choreographies and continue to lead the way for the rest of Britain. There are no ‘rules’ in the ultra world, but ultras policies generally include never sitting down, singing for 90 minutes and attending every game possible.

The Red Ultras do receive some critism here and there, from supporters of other clubs and our own too. This is usually because people are unaware of the above. Another reason however is because people think they are trying to ‘break tradition’ with new songs and such. Songs with words like ‘alle’ and actions, instead of joining in with the 25138th rendition of Stand Free. Really, the only impact the ultras can have is positive.

The RU were formed in 1999. They tried to enter Hampden Park with a banner twice in the year 2000 for the finals of the domestic cups. Twice as well, the banner was refused entry because the police, like some people still do, got the wrong idea with the word ‘ultras’.

Since then, season by season, the ultras have progressed and become more well known, not only in Scotland but in Europe too. Their finest season was seen as 2005/2006, when they pulled off 10s of large scale displays and the almost iconic Stand Free display against Rangers. This season however must come close, if not overtake the 2005/2006 season, as the RU were able to perform properly on the European stage for the first time, pulling off displays like the one against Bayern, which included 6000 pieces of red and white card, and a large plastic banner with the phrase ‘One Love’ and the Aberdeen badge on it.

Work of the Red Ultras can be seen at redultras.net. The RU need as many bodies as possible to set up flags and choreographies. Sign up to the Red Ultras forum and check regularly to see when you can help out.