Welcome to volume two of my blog paying homage to the football clubs I've visited all over the world and the wonderful people responsible for keeping them going and looking after the stadiums, and in some cases basic grounds.

Since I was a little lad I've been fascinated in football and more so where games are played. With my love of travel and curiosity of the game I wanted to visit as many grounds and see games wherever possible. I was lucky that my Dad also loved the game and spent so much of his spare time taking me to matches. As I got older the boundaries widened owing to my location and increased wages to Europe and indeed the world. The sight of a stand or a floodlight pylon in the distance immediately hightens my senses and eagerness for a closer look.

I hope this site gives you the chance to share in my pleasure and experiences and maybe one day set you on the road to adventure. If you get half as much out of the hobby as I've done I can guarantee some great memories, good friends and stories to pass on to future generations.

Give your local club a go today. They'll be pleased to see you!

Everlasting thanks primarily to my late and very much missed and dearly loved parents; my Dad Bob Bernard and my Mum; Ann, who put up with endless years of football chat and my brothers Nick and Paul who gave me the chance and encouragement to do what I have. Thanks to all my friends who offer encouragement and Sally and Stan who inspire and give me great pride. Young Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby!

Please feel free to post any comments (please use sensible language - I want everyone to be able to enjoy reading) or ask any questions relating to visiting grounds or events. If you want to see any ground reviewed please let me know. It will take quite some time for everywhere to appear, but make sure you keep having a look as the site is continually updated.

If you click on a lot of the pictures you will get a larger version on your screen.

I have also added links to video clips on youtube where appropriate for those of you who are bored of reading or are filling in time at work. I haven't always gone for the most obvious choices, but items that will be in some cases unusual but always historically interesting.

Click to see volume one of HAOTW.

Rob Bernard

London

September 2015

Sunday, November 4, 2012

FC Viktoria Köln 1904 (Germany)





FC Viktoria Köln 1904 is a football club based in the city of Cologne in Germany. As the clubs title suggests, the club were formed in 1904 under the name of FC Germania Kalk. Five years later Germania merged with FC Kalk to form SV Kalk 04.












In 1911 a further merger occurred as Mülheimer FC came onboard to create VfR Mülheim-Kalk 04. Their name was changed in 1918 to VfR Köln 04. The clubs first honour came in 1924 when the club were crowned Westdeutsche Fußball Meisterschaft (Western German champions). The clubs Flughafen Stadion inside Sportpark Höhenberg was completely rebuilt between 1929 and 1931. Football in Germany was re-organised in 1933, with VfR Köln 04 being placed in Gauliga Mittelrhein. They went on to lift that league title in 1935 and 1937.












After World War Two the club joined the Oberliga West, but were relegated after just one season. In 1949 the club was merged further, this time with its wartime partner Mülheimer SV to become SC Rapid Köln 04 playing in the Oberliga second tier. The club were relegated to the third tier in 1952. Rapid joined local rivals SC Preußen Dellbrück forming SC Viktoria 04 Köln in 1957.


Some of the previous club crests


European competition landed at the club in 1963 as they were selected to play in the Inter City Fairs Cup, which was later to become the UEFA Cup. The club competed in the second and third tiers of the pyramid for many years until 1994 when yet another merger, this time with SC Brückthat to create SCB Preußen Köln.












After initial success, they were relegated to the fourth tier Oberliga Nordrhein. Things got even worse following a further demotion to Verbandsliga Mittelrhein for one season. The club was re-christened SCB Viktoria Köln in 2002, and then re-named FC Viktoria Köln 1904 on the 22nd June 2010. Another short spell in the Verbandsliga Mittelrhein followed before the club were crowned champions of Oberliga Nordrhein-Westfalen at the end of the 2011-12 season, which was rewarded with a place in the Regionalliga West.

FC Viktoria Köln 1904 will play in Regionalliga West in the 2013-14 season.


My visit

Friday 26th October 2012

I had been in Germany and in and around the city of Cologne for a few hours after first calling at Sudstadion, the home of SC Fortuna Köln. My journey on the tram to the Höhenberg Frankfurter Strasse stop required a change on the way, but it turned to farce as my particular vehicle suffered from a breakdown, which led to a load of announcements that I didn't understand and a standstill for some time before we went in a direction I wasn't prepared for. Eventually I worked out where I was and got to my intended stop.












I crossed the busy Frankfurter Strasse and entered Sportpark Höhenberg, which had a tree lined lane with lots of country paths heading off it. It looked as if it attracted people keeping fit and heading out for a stroll. After a few hundred metres I arrived outside the Flughafen Stadion, such named because of the altitude of the park. I was delighted to see the gates were open, with workers preparing for the following days clash with Rot Weiss Essen. I walked past the artificial pitch behind the Main Stand to have a proper look.












The ground showed signs of once having a running track around it and was still of that shape. The Main Stand was a single covered tier of seats. Opposite was open terracing. At the far end a semi-temporary hospitality building had been erected, while at the entrance end was disused with a shallow grass bank following the curve around.




I walked out and found another Verbandsliga Mittelrhein club; TuS Köln rrh, who were based across the track.







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