The Barmy Army is celebrating 20 years of singing, sledging Aussies and supporting England’s cricket team. LARA BRUNT caught up with co-founder PAUL BURNHAM who is in Australia for the current Ashes series.
How did the Barmy Army begin?
The Barmy Army started on the 1994-95 Ashes tour in Australia. The Aussie media called us ‘barmy’ because we were supporting a tour that was losing and ‘army’ because there was a lot of us. Everybody that was there together went to the next [England] tour in South Africa.
Now, 20 years on, we’ve got 40,000 followers on Twitter, nearly 50,000 on Facebook and nearly 30,000 members. It’s been something that’s evolved over time and it’s just about supporting the England cricket team in a positive way.
How many fans have you got travelling with you for this series?
We’ve got 700 over the five tests. Obviously, it’s lot more expensive than it used to be, but the passion for watching England abroad will always be there so people will find the money.
We’re seeing a lot of new tourists coming here who have obviously saved up for the trip, as opposed to people who are probably still recovering from how expensive it was three years’ ago [when England last toured Australia for the 2010-11 Ashes series].
Published in Australian Times. Copyright Lara Brunt. Photo by Prescott Pym.
I'm an Aussie journalist and content editor with experience writing for newspapers, magazines and online.