In 2007, the Red Patch Boys (RPB) established ourselves as an official Toronto FC (TFC) supporters group with the general mission of supporting the team at home and away. With passion and pride, we have been organizing displays and chants as a regular fixture in the stands ever since. Our purpose extends beyond the 90 minutes of matches to consultation with the team organization as well as representing and promoting the sport of soccer in our community and a culture of support that is famous throughout Major League Soccer (MLS). One key element in our success is the environment where we operate most of the time: our home stadium, BMO Field (BMO). The facility, which also stands as Canada’s National Soccer Stadium, has contributed to the city’s enthusiasm for the sport and allowed it to thrive in the natural harmony between soccer culture and Toronto’s cultural landscape. In light of recent announcements made by Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) and the TFC organization, we must express our disappointment.
RPB members, fellow TFC supporters and fans have long expressed concern over the concept of a new tenant making a move to play at BMO Field. The arrangements needed to support this cast a dark shadow on the future of the playing surface at BMO that we cannot ignore. BMO has progressed and evolved into a respected facility with world-class ambitions over the years. This has not only created an experience at home similar to famous stadiums around the world, but helped attract world-class talent to Toronto. In a ground share deal between these two sports, the tenant that bears the most risk is soccer as, no matter the investment in the surface, an acceptable recovery between uses is in high doubt—especially in the playoff time of year when both leagues are active. We have spent years watching the MLS grow and make soccer specific stadiums the centrepiece of the sport. This deal is a sign of regression for the league in general. We would prefer these tenants with their longstanding and deep-rooted history have their own stadium rather than a ground share at BMO Field.
With BMO at the epicentre, support of the sport and supporter culture has blossomed and continues to grow. After coming such a long way since TFC joined MLS in 2007, with a home to grow unparalleled support in the city at the local level and nationally with our Men’s and Women’s teams, this is a setback for soccer in Canada. Our goal remains to support and help push for the highest quality of play and experience for our fellow supporters, but we fear this deal will have a detrimental impact. As passionate supporters of not only TFC but of the National Soccer Stadium, we feel this move is counterproductive to the growth of the sport in Canada. Going forward, we intend to continue reaching out to management bodies to build and promote what we feel is in the best interests of our team, our city, our supporters and our sport. We want all Canadian sport to thrive, but when one sport can have such a negative impact on the playing surface of the other, we would rather see it played somewhere other than BMO Field.
Developed over years by fellow supporters, these chants are what we sing with pride from the stands at BMO. Whether you’re a seasoned supporter, or just want to know what you keep hearing from the South End, there’s always opportunity and occasion to join in during a match. There are many more in the arsenal, especially when TFC scores, but here are five chants to know on game day.
(Tune: When the Saints Go Marching In)
A tradition that kicks off every match and sets the stage for supporters as well as letting the players on the pitch know who’s behind them.
(Tune: Jesus Christ Superstar)
Starting off with a loud back’n'forth between a chant leader, this evolves into a TFC mainstay. The T-O-R… has been sung by supporters everywhere since the early days and is a favourite.
One of a number of chants that feature French, we are proud to be Canadian Reds and we often get asked what the French bits are. Learn this and it’ll help with another much-asked-about, much-loved chant: The Massive. (see Chants album / Game Day songs page for more)
A tradition maintained from season 1, this is a player chant dedicated to TFC legend Danny Dichio. In particular, his glorious first goal for TFC, and TFC’s first goal ever, which occurred at the 23rd minute of play in a match in 2007. Everyone loves to hear this one echo around BMO, so join in when the capo signals at 23:14 on the clock!
Another player chant that has quickly become a favourite – This one’s for Michael Bradley. A welcome addition to TFC and a welcome presence on the pitch, this chant tells the story of Bradley coming to Toronto and spirited leadership we have come to love. With Bradley’s rise to the TFC Captaincy, this one is more relevant and fun to sing than ever. Our leader with the armband, our General.
All of these chants are part of a greater set of recordings, Voice In The Stands, a project put together by Red Patch Boys in 2014. Check out many of the others here and learn new ones at matches!
As part of efforts to spread awareness about supporter groups, TFC has produced some feature videos that give a glimpse into the passion that emanates from the stands. Filmed on location during our season kick off viewing party check some ‘South End’ vibes being brought indoors and look for some familiar faces!
Update 1:30PM: It gets even better – in addition to that neat video, TFC has posted a neat article written by one of our very own. Describing a bit of the feeling of What It’s Like To Be A Red Patch Boy. Check it out!
Never far from the game we support and love, Red Patch Boys is sponsoring a youth soccer team this season. ‘Newmarket United’ is a U12 girls squad based just north of the city. It’s not all goals and clean sheets though – other than wearing the supporter group’s patch with pride, the players will lend a hand helping hold flags on the pitch during TFC opening ceremonies at a match later this year. Have a good season team!
As the new campaign approaches, we are looking for new members to join us. Are you enthusiastic and passionate about supporting TFC? Seen what we do at matches and during the season and interested in getting more involved? There are lots of opportunities to support in a myriad of ways – big and small. Whatever your level, RPB is here – as the voice in the stands and beyond – Together For The Reds. Join us!
All the details about signing up, membership swag, and more, can be found on the membership page here. Our hard working Membership Team is looking forward to hearing from you. Get signed up before March 7th to get your fully personalized membership card!