The Gauliga Mittelrhein was the highest football league in the central and southern part of the Prussian Rhine Province from 1933 to 1945. Shortly after the formation of the league, the Nazis reorganised the administrative regions in Germany, the Gaue Köln-Aachen and Moselland replaced the Prussian province in the Middle Rhine region. From 1941, the Gauliga Mittelrhein was split into two separate leagues, the Gauliga Köln-Aachen and the Gauliga Moselland. From this time, it included clubs from the occupied Luxembourg and the Belgian region of Eupen-Malmedy; the league was introduced by the Nazi Sports Office in 1933, after the Nazi takeover of power in Germany. It replaced the Bezirksligas and Oberligas as the highest level of play in German football competitions. In its first season, the league had eleven clubs, playing each other once away; the league champion qualified for the German championship. The bottom three teams were relegated; the season after, the league was reduced to ten teams and remained at this strength until 1939.
From 1937, it included Alemannia Aachen which had belonged to the Gauliga Niederrhein. Due to the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the league was split into two regional groups, a northern division of seven and a southern of six clubs; the two group champions played a home-and-away final for the Gauliga championship. In its last season, 1940 -- 41, the league returned to a ten-team format. At the end of this season, the league was split into two separate Gauligas, divided along the administrative divisions of the two Gaue; the territory of the new Gauliga Köln-Aachen was made up of the area of the Gau Köln-Aachen and the Eupen-Malmedy region, the German-speaking part of Belgium, annexed to the Gau after the German victory in 1940. However, no club from this Belgian region did play at highest level during the war; the league started with nine clubs in a single division in 1941 and expanded to ten for the 1942-43 season. In its last completed season, 1943–44, it returned to a strength of nine teams.
Due to the arrival of the war in the region and the conquest of Aachen by the allied forces, the last season not started anymore at all. The territory of the new Gauliga Moselland was made up of the area of the Gau Moselland and Luxembourg, annexed by Germany and added to the Gau after the German victory in 1940; the league started out with two regional divisions of six clubs each with a home-and-away final to determine the Gauliga champion. The western group compromised two clubs from the city of four Luxembourgian clubs; the league modus remained the same for the 1942-43 season but the number of clubs from Luxembourg increased to five. In the 1943-44 season, the eastern group comprised five teams. With the arrival of allied forces in the region in late 1944, football was of low priority and the last season, 1944-45 was not started any more. With the end of the Nazi era, the Gauligas ceased to exist and the northern part of the region found itself in the British occupation zone while the south became part of the French zone.
The annexed regions of Belgium and Luxembourg were taken from Germany again after 1945. The Oberliga Südwest was introduced as the highest football league in the French occupation zone in 1945, replacing the Gauliga; the territory of the pre-1940 Gau Moselland became part of the new state of Rhineland-Palatinate. In the British zone, which the former Gau Köln-Aachen was part of, top-level football did not resume straight away, unlike in Southern Germany, only in 1947 was a new, highest league introduced, the Oberliga West, which covered all of the new state of North Rhine-Westphalia; the eleven founding members and their league positions in the 1932-33 season were: Mülheimer SV 06 VfR 04 Köln SpVgg Sülz 07, champion Rhein division Eintracht Trier Bonner FV SV Westmark 05 Trier Kölner CfR Kölner SC 99 FV 1911 Neuendorf Fortuna Kottenheim, champion Mittelrhein division SV Rhenania Köln The winners and runners-up of the league: The complete list of all clubs participating in the league: 1 In May 1937, SC 99 Köln and CfR Köln merged to form VfL 99 Köln.
2 SpVgg Andernach joined the new Gauliga Moselland in 1941. 3 The following “war sport unions” were formed between clubs in 1943: VfL 99 Köln and SpVgg Sülz 07 formed KSG VfL 99 Köln/SpVgg Sülz 07. VfR Köln and SV Mülheim formed KSG VfR/Mülheimer SV. Bonner FV and TuRa Bonn formed KSG Bonn. 4 Title awarded to SV Beuel 06 after the end of season, Alemannia Aachen took part in the German championship. 4 Eintracht Trier and Westmark Trier formed KSG Trier for the 1943-44 season. From 1941, clubs from the occupied country of Luxembourg took part in the German Gauliga system; the most successful of those was the FV Stadt Düdelingen, who reached the German championship finals round, losing to the FC Schalke 04 0-2 in 1942. The following clubs played in the Gauliga under their Germanised names: FV Stadt Düdelingen, was Stade Dudelange FK Niederkorn, was Progrès Niedercorn Moselland Luxemburg, was Spora Luxembourg SV Düdelingen, was US Dudelange SV Schwarz-Weiß Esch, was Jeunesse d'Esch Schwarz-Weiß Wasserbillig, was Jeunesse Wasserbillig Die deutschen Gauligen 1933-45 - Heft 1-3 Tables of the Gauligas 1933-45, publisher: DSFS Kicker Almanach, The yearbook on German football from Bundesliga to Oberliga, since 1937, published by the Kicker Sports Magazine The Gauligas Das Deutsche Fussball Archiv Germany - Championships 1902-1945 at RSSSF.com
Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fußball GmbH known as Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Bayer Leverkusen, Leverkusen or Bayer, is a German football club based in Leverkusen, North Rhine-Westphalia. The club plays in the Bundesliga, the top tier of German football, hosts matches at the BayArena; the club was founded in 1904 by employees of the German pharmaceutical company Bayer, whose headquarters are in Leverkusen and from which the club draws its name. It was the best-known department of TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen, a sports club whose members participate in athletics, gymnastics and other sports including the RTHC Bayer Leverkusen. In 1999 the football department was separated from the sports club and is now a separate entity formally called Bayer 04 Leverkusen GmbH. Bayer Leverkusen have won one UEFA Cup, their local rivals are 1. FC Köln. On 27 November 1903, Wilhelm Hauschild wrote a letter – signed by 170 of his fellow workers – to his employer, the Friedrich Bayer and Co. seeking the company's support in starting a sports club.
The company agreed to support the initiative, on 1 July 1904 Turn- und Spielverein Bayer 04 Leverkusen was founded. On 31 May 1907, a separate football department was formed within the club. In the culture of sports in Germany at the time, there was significant animosity between gymnasts and other types of athletes; this contributed to a split within the club: on 8 June 1928, the footballers formed a separate association – Sportvereinigung Bayer 04 Leverkusen – that included the handball and fistball players and boxing, while the gymnasts carried on as TuS Bayer 04 Leverkusen. SV Bayer 04 Leverkusen took with them the club's traditional colours of red and black, with the gymnasts adopting blue and yellow. Through this period, into the 1930s, SV Bayer 04 Leverkusen played third and fourth division football. In 1936, they earned promotion to the second highest class of play of the period; that was the year that the club wore the familiar "Bayer" cross for the first time. They made their first appearance in upper league play in 1951, in the Oberliga West and played there until 1956, after which they were relegated.
SV Bayer 04 Leverkusen would not return to the upper leagues until 1962, just one season before the formation of Germany's new professional league, the Bundesliga. The next year saw the club in the Regionalliga West, tier II, where their performances over the next few seasons left them well down the league table. SV Bayer 04 Leverkusen made something of a breakthrough in 1968 by winning the division title, but was unable to advance through the playoff round to the first division; the club was relegated again in 1973, but made a quick return to what was now called the 2. Bundesliga after just one season spent in the third division. Four years the club handily secured a place in the Bundesliga to start to play there in the 1979–80 season. By the mid-1980s, SV Bayer 04 Leverkusen had played its way into the upper half of the league table and was well-established there by the end of the decade, it was during this time, in 1984, that the two-halves of the club that had parted ways over a half century earlier were re-united as TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen e.
V. The new club took white as its colours. In addition to becoming an established Bundesliga side, the club earned its first honours with a dramatic win in the 1988 UEFA Cup. Down 0–3 to Espanyol after the first leg of the final, Bayer Leverkusen drew in the return match and captured the title on penalty kicks, 3–2; that same year, long-time Bayer Leverkusen executive Reiner Calmund became the general manager of the club. This is regarded as one of the most important moves in the club's history, as Calmund ushered in a decade and a half of the club's greatest successes through shrewd, far-sighted player acquisitions. After the German reunification in 1990, Reiner Calmund was quick to sign East German stars Ulf Kirsten, Andreas Thom and Jens Melzig; the three players would become instant crowd favourites, make significant contributions to the team. Calmund established groundbreaking contacts in Brazilian football, befriending Juan Figer, one of Brazil's most powerful player agents. Over the next few years, budding superstars, such as Jorginho and Paulo Sérgio, joined the team, as did Czech star Pavel Hapal.
The club signed charismatic players, such as Bernd Schuster, Rudi Völler, helping to ensure the team's popularity and growing success. The club captured its next honour in 1993 with a 1–0 win in the DFB-Pokal over a surprising Hertha BSC amateur squad on 12 June 1993. In the following season, in a game known for its 45 m "German Goal of the Year" by Schuster, Bayer played Eintracht Frankfurt early in the season, and, as both a "tip of the hat" to its own history as well as an attempt to upset the Frankfurt team, Bayer played in its new third colours, which were old-fashioned red and black stripes, similar jerseys to those Frankfurt wore at the time; this proved so popular with the fans that shortly thereafter, the team reverted to its "retro" colours of red and black, colours used on all home jerseys since. After a near disaster in 1996 when the club faced a relegation battle, Bayer Leverkusen established itself as a powerful side, offering a technically pleasing offensive style of play under new coach Christoph Daum, helped by the signing of players such as Lúcio, Emerson, Zé Roberto and Michael Ballack.
Daum was to be famously fired for a cocaine scandal that cost him his ascent to the role of the Germany national team coach. The team earned a series of four second-place finishes from 1997 to 2002; the finishes of 2000 and 20
SC Preußen Münster
SC Preußen Münster is a German sports club based in Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, recognised for its football section. The football team plays in 3. Liga, the third tier in German football. Preußen Münster fields teams in tennis, athletics and fistball; the club was founded as FC Preußen on 30 April 1906 and has its roots in a group formed at the Johann-Conrad-Schlaun Grammar School. Historians consider patriotic reasons for naming the club after Prussia. At first the club did not have his own ground and was playing at a parade ground of the army at Loddenheide. General Baron von Bissing gave the permission only in the case that the goals would be taken down again after training. On 24 June 1907 the Eagles won their first game against FC Osnabrück with 5–0. After applying for the Western German League system the team first competed in second tier. In 1908 the Eagles got promoted to first league and in 1914 they won the Westphalian Championship. Between 1916 and 1926 the club played on Münstermannplatz, close to the current ground, the Preußenstadion.
In 1921 they won the Championship a second time and took on their current name. In 1933, Preußen advanced to the Gauliga Westfalen, one of sixteen top-flight leagues established through the re-organization of German football under the Third Reich, they were relegated twice. Their second demotion in 1941 left them out of first division football until after World War II; the team played three seasons in the Landesliga Westfalen Gr. 2 before returning to the top-flight in the Oberliga West in the 1948–49 season. That arrival was accompanied by some notoriety as Preußen Münster became the first German football club to build a team by buying players, something unheard of in a country committed to the ideal of amateurism. Siegfried Rachuba, Adolf Preissler, Rudolf Schulz, Felix Gerritzen, Josef Lammers formed a front five dubbed by the press as the "Hundred-Thousand-Mark Line" though that much money never did change hands. Rachuba is still Münsters most successful first tier striker of all times with 97 goals in 238 games.
The investment paid dividends as the club merited an appearance in the 1951 national final in front of 107,000 spectators at Berlin's Olympic Stadium against 1. FC Kaiserslautern. Preußen striker Gerritzen scored first but the team lost after two goals from Ottmar Walter with 1–2, their results as a mid-table side in the tough Oberliga West in the ten years prior to the formation of the Bundesliga in 1963 were good enough to earn Preußen Münster the admission as one of the five teams from that league to earn a place in Germany's new sixteen-team professional circuit. The club made only a cameo appearance in the Bundesliga, being relegated after a next-to-last 15th-place finish. Preußen Münster played out the 1960s and 1970s as a second division side in the Regionalliga West and 2. Bundesliga Nord. In the 1970s the Preußen made several attempts to return to Bundesliga. Under club president Günter Wellerdieck the club took a considerable financial risk to achieve the promotion to first tier. Preußen failed to do so by finishing on 5th place in the 1973–74 season and on 3rd place in the 1977–78 and 1978–79 seasons.
After Wellerdieck and other staff of the club's management resigned due to financial difficulties and accusations of tax fraud in 1978 the decline of Preußen Münster went on. They slipped to the Amateur Oberliga Westfalen in the 1981–82 season, except for a short adventure in the 2. Bundesliga in the 1990 and 1991 seasons, played third tier football in the Regionalliga West/Sudwest and Regionalliga Nord until 2006. During this period, they captured the German Amateur Championship in 1994 with a 1–0 win over Kickers Offenbach. In 2006, the club was relegated to the Oberliga Westfalen, now a fourth tier circuit. Management subsequently invested significant financial resources into a high-profile team of experienced second- and third-tier players in pursuit of immediate re-promotion; the attempt ended in failure and the club re-built itself with young players in place of expensive veterans and put in place a young and unknown coach, Roger Schmidt. The re-worked side finished in first place in the 2007–08 season, so qualified for the new Regionalliga West which replaced the Oberliga in the league system.
They ended the season in fourth place in the Regionalliga in 2008–09, in sixth in 2009–10. For season 2008–09 the club qualified for the DFB-Pokal the first time since season 1997–98; the opponent was the team of VfL Bochum. After a penalty shootout Preußen lost 5–6. In the following year the Eagles were defeated in the extra time against another first tier team, Hertha BSC; the match ended 1–3. They were promoted to 3. Liga after finishing as champions of the West Group of the Regionalliga in the 2010–11 season; the manager of that time was Marc Fascher. Preußen were defeated by another Bundesliga team in the German cup; the Eagles lost against VfL Wolfsburg. The first season 2011–12 in the third tier of German football after five years ended with the 12th place. In the following seasons the team finished better and had chances to get promoted again to 2. Bundesliga. In season 2012–13 they succeeded and ended in fourth place. In that season the team was able to defeat the Bundesliga team of Werder Bremen in the first round of the DFB-Pokal.
The match ended 4–2 after extra time. In the second round the club lost against FC Augsburg. In season 2013–14 they ended in sixth place. Again the club managed to win against a team from a higher league in the DFB-Pokal
North Rhine-Westphalia is a state of Germany. North Rhine-Westphalia is located in western Germany covering an area of 34,084 square kilometres. With a population of 17.9 million, it is the most populous state in Germany. It is the most densely populated German state apart from the city-states of Berlin and Hamburg, the fourth-largest by area. Düsseldorf is the state capital and Cologne is the largest city. North Rhine-Westphalia features four of Germany's 10 largest cities: Düsseldorf, Cologne and Essen, the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area, the largest in Germany and the third-largest on the European continent. North Rhine-Westphalia was established in 1946 after World War II from the Prussian provinces of Westphalia and the northern part of Rhine Province, the Free State of Lippe by the British military administration in Allied-occupied Germany. North Rhine-Westphalia became a state of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, the city of Bonn served as the federal capital until the reunification of Germany in 1990 and as the seat of government until 1999.
The first written account of the area was by its conqueror, Julius Caesar, the territories west of the Rhine were occupied by the Eburones and east of the Rhine he reported the Ubii and the Sugambri to their north. The Ubii and some other Germanic tribes such as the Cugerni were settled on the west side of the Rhine in the Roman province of Germania Inferior. Julius Caesar conquered the tribes on the left bank, Augustus established numerous fortified posts on the Rhine, but the Romans never succeeded in gaining a firm footing on the right bank, where the Sugambri neighboured several other tribes including the Tencteri and Usipetes. North of the Sigambri and the Rhine region were the Bructeri; as the power of the Roman empire declined, many of these tribes came to be seen collectively as Ripuarian Franks and they pushed forward along both banks of the Rhine, by the end of the fifth century had conquered all the lands, under Roman influence. By the eighth century, the Frankish dominion was established in western Germany and northern Gaul, but at the same time, to the north, Westphalia was being taken over by Saxons pushing south.
The Merovingian and Carolingian Franks built an empire which controlled first their Ripuarian kin, the Saxons. On the division of the Carolingian Empire at the Treaty of Verdun, the part of the province to the east of the river fell to East Francia, while that to the west remained with the kingdom of Lotharingia. By the time of Otto I, both banks of the Rhine had become part of the Holy Roman Empire, the Rhenish territory was divided between the duchies of Upper Lorraine on the Moselle and Lower Lorraine on the Meuse; the Ottonian dynasty had both Frankish ancestry. As the central power of the Holy Roman Emperor weakened, the Rhineland split into numerous small, separate vicissitudes and special chronicles; the old Lotharingian divisions became obsolete, although the name survives for example in Lorraine in France, throughout the Middle Ages and into modern times, the nobility of these areas sought to preserve the idea of a preeminent duke within Lotharingia, something claimed by the Dukes of Limburg, the Dukes of Brabant.
Such struggles as the War of the Limburg Succession therefore continued to create military and political links between what is now Rhineland-Westphalia and neighbouring Belgium and the Netherlands. In spite of its dismembered condition and the sufferings it underwent at the hands of its French neighbours in various periods of warfare, the Rhenish territory prospered and stood in the foremost rank of German culture and progress. Aachen was the place of coronation of the German emperors, the ecclesiastical principalities of the Rhine bulked in German history. Prussia first set foot on the Rhine in 1609 by the occupation of the Duchy of Cleves and about a century Upper Guelders and Moers became Prussian. At the peace of Basel in 1795, the whole of the left bank of the Rhine was resigned to France, in 1806, the Rhenish princes all joined the Confederation of the Rhine. After the Congress of Vienna, Prussia was awarded the entire Rhineland, which included the Grand Duchy of Berg, the ecclesiastic electorates of Trier and Cologne, the free cities of Aachen and Cologne, nearly a hundred small lordships and abbeys.
The Prussian Rhine province was formed in 1822 and Prussia had the tact to leave them in undisturbed possession of the liberal institutions to which they had become accustomed under the republican rule of the French. In 1920, the districts of Eupen and Malmedy were transferred to Belgium. Around AD 1, numerous incursions occurred through Westphalia and even some permanent Roman or Romanized settlements; the Battle of Teutoburg Forest took place near Osnabrück and some of the Germanic tribes who fought at this battle came from the area of Westphalia. Charlemagne is thought to have spent considerable time in nearby parts, his Saxon Wars partly took place in what is thought of as Westphalia today. Popular legends link his adversary Widukind to places near Detmold, Lemgo, Osnabrück, other places in Westphalia. Widukind was buried in Enger, a subject of a legend. Along with Eastphalia and Engern, Westphalia was a district of the Duchy of Saxony. In 1180, Westphalia was elevated to the rank of a duchy by Emperor Barbarossa.
The Duchy of Westphalia comprised only a small area
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
Fortuna Düsseldorf is a German football club in Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Founded in 1895, Fortuna entered the league in 1913 and was a fixture in the top flight from the early 1920s up to the creation of the Bundesliga in 1963. 2018–19 will be their 24th season in the Bundesliga, their first since 2012–13. The earliest roots of the association go back to the establishment of the gymnastics club Turnverein Flingern on 5 May 1895 in the village of Flingern, today one of the eastern quarters of Düsseldorf. Two other sides figure in the club's early history: Düsseldorfer Fußballklub Spielverein, founded in 1908, FK Alemania 1911, founded in 1911 and became Fortuna 1911 the following year. In mid-1913, these two clubs merged to form Düsseldorfer Fußball-Club Fortuna 1911 which played its debut season in the Westdeutschen Spielverband in 1913–14. TV Flingern joined Fortuna to create Düsseldorfer Turn- und Sportverein Fortuna on 15 November 1919. In the late 1920s, Fortuna won its first honours as a first tier side.
The team continued to perform well into the 1930s, winning its third and fourth district titles en route to a Western German football championship in 1931 and its greatest success, a German football championship in 1933 against Schalke 04, on the verge of becoming the era's dominant side in Germany. Fortuna was the first team to win the title without conceding a goal in the final rounds of the tournament, it beat Vorwärts-Rasensport Gleiwitz, Arminia Hannover, Eintracht Frankfurt and Schalke 04 en route to becoming the first national champion from the industrial Rhine-Ruhr area. In the following season, the club began playing in Gauliga Niederrhein, 1 of 16 top-flight divisions formed in the re-organization of German football under the Third Reich. Düsseldorf dominated the division through the 1930s as five-time champions between 1936 and 1940, made losing appearances in the national championship final in 1936 and the final of the Tschammerpokal, the predecessor of today's DFB-Pokal, in 1937.
The club made a prompt return to the top flight the following season. In 1944–45, it began play as the combined wartime side Kriegsspielgemeinschaft TSV Fortuna/SC 99 Düsseldorf with partner Düsseldorfer Sport Club 1899, but took part in only two matches as Nazi Germany fell before the advance of Allied armies; the most notable players of that era were Paul Janes, Germany's most capped player from 1942 to 1970, German team captain and member of the Breslau Eleven that beat Denmark 8–0 in Breslau in 1937 and went on to win 10 of 11 games played during that year. After World War II, Allied occupation authorities ordered the dissolution of all sports organizations in Germany. Fortuna was re-formed in 1945 and played most of their football in the Oberliga West in the years between 1947 and the creation of the Bundesliga, Germany's professional football league, in 1963, it played as a lower-to-mid-table side but did earn three appearances in the DFB-Pokal final in – 1957, 1958 and 1962 – but was not able to take the prize, losing each of those matches to Bayern Munich, VfB Stuttgart and 1.
FC Nürnberg. It was during this era that Toni Turek, goalkeeper for Germany's "Miracle of Bern" side at the 1954 World Cup. Fortuna's performance was not good enough to earn them a place among the original 16 teams chosen for the newly founded Bundesliga in 1963, but the club did manage to play its way into the premier division three years for a cameo appearance in 1966–67. Despite a sensational 2–1 away win at crowned European Cup Winners' Cup winners Borussia Dortmund in its Bundesliga debut, Fortuna was relegated, though only to return in 1971 for a stay that lasted 16 seasons and included two third-place league finishes. On 9 December 1978, Fortuna recorded a 7–1 victory against Bayern Munich, to date the highest away defeat for Bayern in its entire Bundesliga history. In addition, Fortuna continued its prosperous play in the DFB-Pokal, making another three appearances. After losing in its fifth appearance in the final in 1978 against local rivals 1. FC Köln, the club broke through and came away as champions in 1979, prevailing 1–0 against Hertha BSC repeating as champions 1980 with 2–1 victory against 1.
FC Köln. During this period, the club established a record for consecutive DFB-Pokal match victories, with 18-straight between 1978 and 1981. Fortuna is among a group of four teams which have made frequent appearances in the DFB-Pokal final only to come away empty-handed. Like 1. FC Kaiserslautern, Fortuna has just two wins against fives losses. 1. FC Köln has four wins and six losses in the Cup final, while Schalke 04 has been frustrated most with four wins and seven losses. Four of the Düsseldorfer's losses were by a single goal and two of those were in extra time; the club's best turn in European competition was in the 1979 European Cup Winners' Cup Final, where it finished as runners-up to Barcelona, losing 4–3 in extra time in an exciting finale at Basel. It was the first of four occasions. Fortuna achieved its success with hometown players like the famous Allofs brothers or players like Gerd Zewe (440
SpVgg Erkenschwick is a German football club based in Oer-Erkenschwick in North Rhine-Westphalia. Founded as Sportverein Erkenschwick in 1916, they joined Emscher-Lippe-Spielverband to form Sportfreunde Erkenschwick in 1918, which in merged with Turn- und Leichtathletikverein TV Erkenschwick in 1921 to form the sports club still known today as TuS 09 Erkenschwick; the football side separated from this club and joined the footballers from Blau-Weiss Oer to form SpVgg Erkenschwick. The side was competitive from 1943 through to 1953, playing top-flight football in the Gauliga Westfalen until the end of World War II and in the Oberliga West after the war. Through the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, Erkenschwick played as a third division side with just three seasons spent in the 2. Bundesliga. At the turn of the century they slipped to fourth and fifth level competition, since 2012, play in Oberliga Westfalen again; the club's honours: Oberliga Westfalen Champions: 1980, 1987 Verbandsliga Westfalen Nordost Champions: 1965, 1967, 1968 Verbandsliga Westfalen Südwest Champions: 2004 Westphalia Cup Winners: 1987, 1993 Official website Abseits Guide to German Soccer