Sunday, November 16, 2008

The History of Hamburg SV

This week I bought the retro Hamburg SV shirt (the blue one pictured above), which was perhaps a bit of a strange purchase as they are in the same group as Villa in the UEFA Cup, but it's a good shirt and they seem like a decent bunch, although i might not be saying that next month.

The 'Bundesliga Dinosaurs' are the only club to have played in every season of the Bundesliga since its inception in 1963. They were formed as an athletics club in 1887 when Der Hohenfelder and Wandsbek Marienthaler came together to form Sports club Germania, they started playing football in 1891 after having it introduced to them by some Englishmen. After World War I Sports Club Germania, Hamburg FC and FC Falke found themselves in a weakened position and decided to get together and form Hamburg SV. The red and white shirts come from the colours of the city and the blue and black crest is that of the oldest of the three clubs Germania.

The first 'success' of Hamburg came in 1922 when they met defending champions 1.FC Nurnberg in the final of the German Cup. The first match finished 2-2 when it was 2 dark to play after 3 hours and 10 minutes, as there were no substitutes in those days I can imagine that they wish someone had thought of the idea, or penalty shoot outs before. A lack of substitutes caused problems in the rematch, which the referee finished at 1-1 when 1.FC Nurnberg were reduced to 7 men. The DFB after a lot debate finally awarded the titile to Hamburg, but told them that they should refuse the trophy as a sign of sportsmanship, which they did (in a more begruding than sporting fashion).

The following year they finally got their hands on the trophy when they beat Union Oberschonweide in the final. In 1924 they lost in the final to Nurnberg and then won it again in 1928.

At the time the German leagues were regional with the cup final acting as the National decider. At the time Hamburg were in the Oberliga Nord, where they were a dominant force. Of the 16 seasons between 1947 to 1963 Hamburg won 14 of the championships. in 1949 they finished second on goal difference behind city rivals St.Pauli and in 1954 they finished 11th. At national level they were less effective though only winning the trophy in 1960 after the 1928 victory and losing in the final in 1957 and 1958.

In 1963 they were one of the 16 founder members of the Bundesliga and they are the only club to have been there ever since. In the 1970's and early 80's they had a great deal of success, winning the German Cup in 1976, the Cup Winner's Cup in 1977 and the Bundesliga in 1979. They finished second, 2 points behind Bayern Munich in 1980 and then went on to win it twice more in 1982 and 1983. In 1983 they won the european Cup when they beat Juventus in the final and in 1987 they won the German Cup again.

In 2004 Hamburg were involved in a controversy when they lost to minnows Paederborn in the German Cup. However, it turned out that the referee, Robert Hoyzer had been paid by a Croatian betting syndicate to fix the match.

This season under Martin Jol they have started well, although they have been slipping up lately and are now down to 5th after losing to Hertha Berlin yesterday, although they are only 5 points behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen and TSG Hoffenheim. Let's just hope there luck isn't in in the UEFA Cup

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