How The UK's First Gothic Football Team Gained A Cult Following

    It's safe to say Real Gothic FC are the country's premier gothic football side. And yes, they play in black.

    If you like football and the darker things in life, Real Gothic FC are the team for you.

    The team are well established, with a growing reputation not just in the UK but around the world thanks to their stylish club crest and kit.

    They play in black, obviously.

    They have players from a range of backgrounds.

    And they have their own scarves and everything, in fetching black and purple.

    The games are always well attended.

    Their fans drink Black Sheep. Well, either that or snakebite and black, obviously.

    The team are sponsored by The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, which was set up in memory of the Lancashire teenager who died after a violent attack in 2007, although past sponsors have included goth-influenced band The Last Cry.

    Pablo Thompson, who manages and plays for the team, and also runs their Facebook page, told BuzzFeed News how it all got started:

    It really is just about having as much fun as possible. The whole thing started over 10 years ago. At the Whitby Goth Weekend, a bunch of guys who were covering the event for the local press said they would love a game of football.

    They decided to go down to Whitby Town FC and ask if they could borrow the pitch, and [the club] said yes. They started asking some of the bands who played the weekend to get involved.

    And when they started some people even wore black boots – not football boots, big, black boots. But they all wear proper kit now.

    The first match was a horribly drunken performance on our behalf. We lost 1-10, but once you've kicked lumps out of each other on the pitch, it's much easier to start a conversation.

    The match is always between Gothic and Stokoemotiv FC, a team set up by former Whitby Gazette editor Jon Stokoe, pictured here second from right, holding the trophy last Sunday with Gothic's Thompson (right).

    Their latest match was a classic.

    Gridlock! Can the armoured tanks of the Goths pierce the flabby underbelly of the quivering Stokoemotive?

    Unlike some of their other matches, it was a tense affair, a narrow 1–0 victory for Stokoemotiv.

    Gothic were spurred on by their own all-male cheerleading choir, Boy Division.

    And there's a women's team too – the Sisters of Real.

    In fact the club's scarves and banners have been bought and sent across the world.

    Courtney Love is a fan of Gothic.

    The idea is spreading: There is now even a version of Real Gothic in Brazil.

    The proceeds of the matches go to charity – last weekend's event raised more than £1,500.

    The recipients are the Willow Foundation (founded by legendary Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson), SOS Children's Villages, the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, and other local charities.

    If you fancy supporting Gothic, their next match is in April at the next Whitby Goth Weekend and you can find out about them here.