- Wuppertaler SV Borussia
Football club infobox
clubname = Wuppertaler SV Borussia
fullname = Wuppertaler Sport-Verein Borussia e.V.
nickname = WSV, Die Löwen (The Lions)
founded = 1954
capacity = 28,000
chairman = Friedhelm Runge
season = 2006-07
position = Regionalliga Nord (III), 5th
Wuppertaler SV is a German football club located in
Wuppertal, North Rhine-Westphalia. The city was founded in 1929 out of the union of a number of smaller towns including Elberfeld, Barmen, Vohwinkel, Cronenberg, and Ronsdorf – each with its own football club. "Wuppertal Sport Verein" was formed in 1954 out of the merger "TSG Vohwinkel" and "SSV Wuppertal" and was later joined by "Borussia Wuppertal" to form the present day club. In addition to the football side, today's sports club includes departments for boxing, gymnastics, handball, and track and field.__TOC__
Early history of predecessors TSG and SSV
"TSG" was active as a gymnastics club as early as 1880 while the roots of "SSV" go back to the 1904 establishment of the winter sports club "Bergischer Wintersport-und SV 04 Elberfeld", which was known simply as "SSV Elberfeld" by 1905. This club took part in the early rounds of the national finals in 1930-31 and went on to play in the Gauliga Niederrhein, one of sixteen top-flight divisions formed in the 1933 re-organization of German football under the
Third Reich, for two seasons in 1936-37 and 1937-38. The side was re-christened "SSV 04 Wuppertal" the following year and remained in the Gauliga another two seasons until relegated in 1940. They returned to first tier football in 1941 and earned a strong third place finish, but left the division part way through the 1942-43 season because they were unable to continue to field a full side.
Post war play and the formation of WSV
World War II, "TSG Vohwinkel" emerged as the stronger side and took up play in the first division Oberliga West in 1947 where they would compete until being relegated after a 14th place finish in 1950.
Both clubs were part of the 2. Oberliga West (II) through the early 50s, "SSV" under the guidance of coach
Fritz Szepan, one-time star of " Schalke 04" which had dominated German football from the mid-30s to the mid-40s. The union of the two associations that created "Wuppertal SV" in 1954 paid almost immediate dividends as the combined side vaulted to the top and captured the division title in 1954-55. "Wuppertal"'s return to the Oberliga was less successful despite the presence of players such as rising star Horst Szymaniakand Austrian international Erich Probst. The club could not escape the lower half of the table and was relegated following a next-to-last place finish in 1958.
"WSV" returned to the top flight for the 1962–1963 campaign, which was the last Oberliga season before the creation of the new first division Bundesliga. Although they had a poor regular season, the team enjoyed a good
German Cuprun, advancing to the semi-finals where they lost a closely fought match (0:1) to first division side and eventual cup winners " Hamburger SV" before a record hometown crowd of 40,000.
Rise to the Bundesliga
The following year the club became part of the Regionalliga West, one of five divisions on the newly established second tier circuit. "Wuppertal" delivered a solid performance, finishing second in their division to "
Alemannia Aachen". They remained competitive throughout the remainder of the 60s and on into the early 70s when they broke through to the top flight on the strength of a Regionalliga West title and victory in the subsequent Bundesliga promotion playoffs in 1972. "WSV" swept its opposition, winning all eight of its promotion round matches, a feat unique in the 11 seasons played under this playoff format.
"Die Löwen" would play three seasons in the top flight with their debut season being their most successful. While they never seriously challenged eventual champions "
Bayern Munich" for the title, newly promoted "WSV" spent five weeks in second place before finally settling for a fourth place finish – a result that has only been bettered twice by teams newly promoted to the Bundesliga. This earned the club a place in the UEFA Cuptournament where they would go out in the first round 6:8 on aggregate (1:4, 5:4) to Polish side " Ruch Chorzów".
However, the club was spent the next season and only escaped relegation on goal difference after an 82nd minute away goal in the final match of their campaign in "Stuttgart". Widely regarded as having too old a roster to compete, the following year the club stumbled to an ignominious last place finish on 12 points. This stands as the second-worst ever Bundesliga result, only four points better than the sad sack "Tasmania Berlin" side of 1965-66. The only bright spot of this miserable campaign was a 3:1 victory over the "Bayern Munich" side built around
Franz Beckenbauerwhich dominated European football at the time.
Post-Bundesliga (1975) to date
After their turn in the Bundesliga "Wuppertal" spent four seasons in the second tier 2.Bundesliga before playing a dozen seasons in the Amateur Oberliga Nordrhein (III). A series of strong finishes in the late 80s eventually led to a return to the 2.Bundesliga for the 1993 and 1994 seasons before relegation once again to third tier football in the Regionalliga West/Südwest.
The club had a close brush with bankruptcy in 1998 and the next season was sent down to the Oberliga Nordrhein (IV) for failing to pay their dues. By 2003 they had earned a return to the Regionalliga Nord (III) where they compete today.
In 2004, the club merged with "Borussia Wuppertal" to become "Wuppertaler SV Borussia" adopting the red and blue colours and logo of the more senior "WSV". "Borussia" had been formed in 1976 through the union of "SV Germania 1907 Wuppertal" and "VfL 1912 Wuppertal". Like "SSV", "Germania" was also the successor to an Elberfeld club – "Germania Elberfeld" – which took part in the preliminary rounds of the national finals in the early 30s. While "Borussia" quickly developed into a competitive side, they were not financially strong enough to support their ambition and joined forces with "WSV" in hopes of returning the city to football prominence. From supporter's side, the additional name "Borussia" today is still rejected regarded to the club's history. This controversy and the recent merger remains a subject of discussion at annual meetings.
In the 2007-08
DFB-Pokal(German Cup) tournament "Wuppertaler SV" reached the Round of 16 after beating " Erzgebirge Aue" (4:3 on penalties) and " Hertha BSC Berlin" (2:0). They were put out by eventual cup winners " Bayern Munich" (2:5). Because of the small capacity of Stadion am Zoo, the match was played in the Veltins Arenain Gelsenkirchen.
* Oberliga Nordrhein (IV) champions: 1990, 1992, 2000, 2003
* Niederrheinpokal (North Rhine Cup) winners: 1999, 2000, 2005, 2007
* Striker Günter "Meister" Pröpper (born
12 August 1941) played with "Wuppertaler SV" from 1970-79 and represents the club's golden era of the early 70s. His 52 goals in the club's 1971-72 campaign set a second division record that still stands. In 87 Bundesliga matches he scored 39 goals. After retiring he settled in Wuppertal and has remained associated with the club.
* Outside forward
Horst Szymaniak, who was with "WSV" from 1956-59, participated in two World Cups. He is the only player from the club to be called to play for the national side while playing in Wuppertal, where he earned 20 of his 43 caps. He was one of the first German players to follow the big money to play professionally in Italy and won the European Champions Cup in 1974 with " Inter Milan". Szymaniak was also an unfortunate member of the worst-ever Bundesliga side " Tasmania 1900 Berlin".
Erich Probstenjoyed only limited success during his stay in Wuppertal (1956-58), he made 19 appearances for the Austrian national team and participated in the World Cup 1954 where Austria finished third. Probst scored six goals, tying him for second place with two other players among goalscorers at the competition.
* Alfred "Coppi" Beck, 1955-58, capped once for Germany when with "
FC St. Pauli".
* Erich Haase, 1956-68, played one international match for East Germany while with "
* Waldemar Ksienzyk, 1992-94, played one international match for East Germany while with "Dynamo Berlin".
Erich Ribbeck, who later coached the German national team, started his career with "SSV" and later played with "WSV". In his early days as a coach at " Rot-Weiss Essen" he used Günter Pröpper only rarely, which caused that player to move on to "Wuppertaler SV".
Mohammad Reza Adelkhani, played the 1968-69 season in Wuppertal. He joined Tehranclub " Esteghlal FC" in 1973 and was capped 17 times for Iran.
Track and Field
SSV Wuppertal brought their track and field department to the 1954 union that formed Wuppertaler SV. Athletes from the club have competed in the European and World championships as well as the Olympics. Some notable athletes from the club are:
Manfred Kinder, 400m-Runner, European Champion, Olympic medalist
*Maria Jeibmann, 400m-Runner, German champion
*Manfred Knickenberg, 100m-/200m-Runner, Olympic participant, European championship medalist, German champion
*Maren Collin, 100m-/200m-Runner, European championship runner-up, German champion
*Ruth Limbach, 100m-/200m-Runner, German championship runner-up (1949)
* [http://www.wuppertalersv.com/ Official team site]
* [http://www.abseits-soccer.com/clubs/wsv.html The Abseits Guide to German Soccer] (Wuppertaler SV)
* [http://www.abseits-soccer.com/clubs/bowuppertal.html The Abseits Guide to German Soccer] (Borussia Wuppertal)
* [http://www.f-archiv.de/ Das deutsche Fußball-Archiv] historical German football league tables (in German)
* [http://www.eufo.de/ eufo.de] (European club profiles, current rosters)
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