SpVgg Greuther Fürth

SpVgg Greuther Fürth

Football club infobox
clubname = SpVgg Greuther Fürth

fullname = Spielvereinigung Greuther Fürth e. V.
nickname = "Kleeblätter" (Cloverleaves)
founded = 23 September 1903
ground = Playmobil-Stadion
capacity = 15,500
chairman = flagicon|Germany Helmut Hack
manager = flagicon|Germany Benno Möhlmann
league = 2. Bundesliga
season = 2007-08
position = 2. Bundesliga, 6th

SpVgg Greuther Fürth is a German football based in Fürth, Bavaria. The current club was formed only very recently out of the 1 July 1996 merger of traditional side "Spielvereinigung Fürth" and the senior football side of newcomer "Turn- und Sportverein Vestenbergsgreuth".



pielvereinigung Fürth

The origins of "SpVgg Fürth" are in the establishment on 23 September 1903 of a football department within the gymnastics club "Turnverein 1860 Fürth". The footballers went their own way as an independent club in November 1906. The team played in the Ostkreisliga and took divisional titles there in 1912, 1913, and 1914 before moving on to participate in the Süddeutsche (en:South German) regional playoffs for the national championship round. [Grüne, Hardy (2001). Vereinslexikon. Kassel: AGON Sportverlag ISBN 3-89784-147-9] Right from the beginning there was a great rivalry between the SpVgg Fürth and the 1. FC Nuremberg, predicated on the historical rivalry between the adjacent cities. The club grew rapidly and as of 1914, it had 3000 members and was the largest sports club in Germany.

National champions

"Fürth" won their first national title in 1914 under English coach William Townley. They faced "VfB Leipzig" – the defending champions with three titles to their credit – in the final held on May 31 in Magdeburg. A 154-minute-long thriller ended with "Fürth" scoring a golden goal to secure the title. The team had a solid run of successes through the 20s and into the early 30s, beginning with an appearance in the national final against "Nuremberg" in 1920. "Nuremberg" was the dominant side of the decade. A star player with "SpVgg" was forced to leave after he married a Nuremberg girl. In 1924, for the first and only time, the German national side was made up exclusively of players from just two sides – "Fürth" and "Nuremberg" - and players of the two teams slept in separate rail coaches.

"SpVgg" showed regularly on the national stage, advancing to the semi-finals in 1923 and 1931. They claimed two more championships – in 1926 and 1929 – with both of those victories coming at the expense of "Hertha BSC Berlin". Through this period the club played five finals in the Süddeutscher Pokal (en:South German Cup), coming away as cupwinners on four occasions. On 27 August 1929 the association was joined by "FC Schneidig Fürth".

German football was re-organized in 1933 under the Third Reich into sixteen top flight Gauligen. "Fürth" became part of the Gauliga Bayern, but their success over the next dozen seasons was limited to a division title there in 1935, alongside regular appearances in competition for the Tschammerpokal, predecessor to today's DFB Pokal (en:German Cup).

Postwar play

After the war the team struggled through three seasons in the Oberliga Süd (I) before slipping to the Amateurliga Bayern (II). "SpVgg" quickly recovered itself and returned to Oberliga play the next season. They won the title there in 1950 and went on to the national playoffs, advancing as far as the semifinals before being eliminated 1:4 by "VfB Stuttgart". "Fürth" remained a first division side until the formation of the Bundesliga in 1963. In 1954 two players from the SpVgg, Karl Mai and Herbert Erhardt, were members of the team that won the World Cup.

The club did not qualify as one of the sixteen teams that made up the new unified national first division and found themselves playing second division football in the Regionalliga Süd, where the were generally a mid-table side whose best finish was third place result in 1967. The club played in the 2.Bundesliga from its inception in 1974 until 1983 with their best performance a fourth place finish in 1978-79. They slipped to playing in the tier III Oberliga Bayern, with a short three-year spell in the fourth division Landesliga Bayern-Mitte in the late 80s. In 1990, "Fürth" celebrated a 3:1 victory in the opening round of German Cup play over first division side "Borussia Dortmund" before going out 0:1 to "1. FC Saarbrücken" in the second round. They returned to the Amateur Oberliga Bayern (IV) in 1991 and the Regionalliga Süd (III) in 1994.

TSV Vestenbergsgreuth

Meanwhile, the small village team of "TSV Vestenbergsgreuth" was established 1 February 1974 and made its appearance as a fourth division side. [Grüne, Hardy (2001). Vereinslexikon. Kassel: AGON Sportverlag ISBN 3-89784-147-9] They made their move up into the Amateur Oberliga Bayern (III) in 1987, just as "Fürth" was making its way down to play in the division the more junior club had just escaped. "TSV" took part in the national amateur playoff round in 1988 and 1995. Their best performance came in the 1995 DFB Pokal (en:German Cup) when they upset "Bayern Munich" 1:0, and then beat "FC Homburg" 5:1, before being eliminated in the third round of the competition by "VfL Wolfsburg" on penalty kicks.

pVgg Greuther Fürth

At the time of their merger in 1996, in which "TSV"'s football players came over to "Fürth", both clubs were playing at about the same level in Regionalliga Süd (III). The new club was runner-up behind long term rival 1. FC Nuremberg in the division the next year, and so earned promotion to the 2.Bundesliga, where they have consistently finished in the top half of the eighteen team table. "Fürth" has come close to renewing its ancient rivallry with "Nuremberg", narrowly missing promotion in each of the last two seasons.

pVgg Greuther Fürth II

"Fürth" also fields a strong reserve side which has played in the Oberliga Bayern (IV) since the 2001-02 season and finished second there in 2006-07. A second place in 2007-08 meant the team was qualified to play in the "Regionalliga Süd" in 2008-09.


:See also:"Bavarian football derbys"The 1. FC Nuremberg is by far the "SpVgg's" biggest rival, going back to the early days of German football when, at times, those two clubs dominated the national championship. Both clubs will be playing together in the 2nd Bundesliga in 2008-09.

Recent seasons

pVgg Greuther Fürth

pVgg Greuther Fürth II


"SpVgg Fürth"
* German champions: 1914, 1923, 1929
* Southern German championship: 1914, 1923, 1931
* Southern German Cup winner: 1918, 1923, 1925, 1926, 1927
* Bezirksliga Nordbayern (I) champions: 1928, 1930, 1931
* Gauliga Bayern champions: 1935
* Oberliga Süd champions: 1950
* South German Cup winner: 1918, 1923, 1925, 1926, 1927
* Landesliga Bayern-Mitte champions: 1991

"TSV Vestenbergsgreuth"
* Landesliga Bayern-Mitte champions: 1987

"SpVgg Greuther Fürth"
* German Hall Cup winner: 2000

Current squad

"For recent transfers, see List of German football transfers summer 2008."

Famous players

"Fürth" has sent 21 players to the German national team.
*Jörg Albertz, Hamburger SV captain and three-times Scottish Premier League winner with Rangers.
*Herbert Erhardt, "Fürth"'s most capped player at 49 and a member of West Germany's 1954 World Cup winning Miracle of Bern side.
*Julius Hirsch, famous German footballer killed during the Holocaust.
*Karl Mai, also a member of the 1954 World Cup team.

Famous coaches

William Townley, had three turns as coach of "SpVgg Fürth" in 1911-1913, 1926-1927, and 1930-1932 and led the club to two championships.

Team trivia

* Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was a member of the sports club before emigrating to the United States and serving as Secretary of State in the Nixon and Ford administrations. Today he is an honorary member and fan and according to the club's website [http://www.greuther-fuerth.de/v3/verein/ehrenmitglied.php] (in German) follows the results of SpVgg Greuther Fürth closely. A photo of his visit to Playmobil Stadium in Fürth can be seen on the club website here: [http://www.greuther-fuerth.de/v3/verein/ehrenmitglied.php] .

*"SpVgg" is an abbreviation of the German term "Spielvereinigung" – or "playing association" – a traditional used term for a team (German: Verein) or club engaged in sports other than gymnastics.

External links

* [http://www.greuther-fuerth.de/ SpVgg Greuther Fürth Web Site]
* [http://www.abseits-soccer.com/clubs/greuther.html Abseits Guide to German Soccer]
* [http://www.f-archiv.de/ Das deutsche Fußball-Archiv] historical German domestic league tables (in German)
* [http://www.eufo.de/football/ger/spvg_rth.htm eufo.de] European football club profiles and current team rosters


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