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How the Barmy Army was born in Australia!

December 02, 2013 11:43 IST

How the Barmy Army was born in Australia!

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A founding member of the Barmy Army has revealed how the English cricket team's colourful, vocal and most importantly loyal band of supporters, who follow them all over the world, was born.


Image: Members of the English Barmy Army sing
Photographs: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

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How the Barmy Army was born in Australia!

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According to News.com.au, Paul Burnham said that during the opening day of the fourth Ashes Test at Adelaide Oval on January 1995, he and a few of his friends went into an Adelaide outlet, T Shirt City, and asked for 50 shirts to be printed with the Union Jack flag and the words 'Atherton's Barmy Army'.


Image: Members of the Barmy Army cheer
Photographs: Kristian Dowling/Getty Images

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Burnham further said that they decided to take a stand as England was trailing 2-0 in the series, following which the outlet's owner designed their logo, which is now patented and trademarked on four continents, and printed the shirts, within two hours, adding that he and his friends then sold the shirts for $20 each.


Image: Members of the Barmy Army celebrate
Photographs: Jeremy Ng/Getty Images

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After that Burnham called up the outlet's owner and ordered more shirts, which led to the birth of the Barmy Army, with the report adding that the T Shirt City team worked through the night to print another 200 shirts and as word spread, 900 English cricket fans visited the shop to sign a 'I was here' board.


Image: Members of the Barmy Army show their support
Photographs: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

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Mike Gatting made a century, England won the Test and things snowballed to the point where Gatting and some of the players even visited the shop after the game.


Image: Barmy Army members dressed as convicts
Photographs: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

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According to Burnham, they had the captain's name on there to start with so it was 'Atherton's Barmy Army', adding that the Australian media called them 'barmy' as they were supporting a team that was losing and 'army' because there were a lot of them.


Image: Barmy Army members pose
Photographs: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

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In two decades, the Barmy Army has grown to include four 'communities', and has three full-time staff including managing director Burnham who organises Tours, events and charity work from the UK, the report added.


Image: Barmy Army members stand for the national anthem
Photographs: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

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