Creating a fan group in a stand can be difficult, particularly a stand with Ultras of a club as respected as Rapid Vienna’s. This past weekend, Tornados Rapid celebrated their 20th anniversary with an epic choreography. Their story begins in 1996 when four fans got together, came up with an original name, then decided to display their unique flag in the West Block of the Hanappi Stadium, seats they had already been frequenting for years.
In the early days they were only about 15 people, and met some resistance from fans who did not want to see any other banners in the stands. The breakthrough came through their fanzine, “Tornados Spezial” which gradually gained the respect of the entire curve.
By the 2000/2001 season they began selling the first fan articles in the curve, and by end of the year, they made their first ever banner which has accompanied them to every game over the last 15 years.
Since 2005 they have had about 50 members, and in the same year they had organised their first choreography. However, the tornados truly made their presence known to the world in 2006 when they organised their first multi-part home choreography on the occasion of their 10 year anniversary. They further established their presence in the curve in March of 2006, their banner was placed in the center of the stand, cementing their place in the Rapid Wien fanscene.
Today, the Tornados boast friendships with supporters from Ferencvaros in Budapest, Ultras Nuremberg in Germany, and are part of the general fan alliances amongst all members of Rapid’s West Block with Panathinaikos’ Gate 13 in Greece, and the now disbanded Gate 22 at Venezia-Mestre, in Italy.
Crucially, like many other supporters groups, the Tornado’s have gone from being a fan club, to an ultras group, meaning they have a youth division, and engage in social activities outside of the stand. Since 2003, they have been raising money for socially disadvantaged people in Vienna through a series of initiatives.
After 2 seasons in the National stadium as they waited for the new Allianze Arena, Rapid fans have struggled to make an atmosphere. At the weekend with their new purpose built ground, Tornados Rapid celebrated their 20th anniversary. Over the last 2 decades, they have had over 200 former members, and are amongst the most recognised ultras group in Austria.
Here are the epic scenes they put on against Sturm Graz at the Weekend via Ultras-Tifo…