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

Thursday, November 29, 2012

SC Victoria Hamburg (Germany)



SC Victoria Hamburg, or Sport- Club Victoria Hamburg von 1895 e. V. to give them their full title are a sports club, with a football department who were formed in 1895 in the northern German city of Hamburg. 




On the 5th May 1895 two youth sides Cito and Excelsior joined forces to form Victoria. After a brief affiliation with Hamburg SV, they became independent as a football club a couple of years later. The sports club also catered for those wishing to partake in badminton, handball, hockey, athletics, tennis, table tennis, gymnastics, baseball and softball.















In 1901 the club became founder members of the Deutscher Fussball Bund (German FA) and going on to be crowned north German champions in 1907 and 1908, going on to reach the national quarter finals on both occasions, and moving into Stadion Hoheluft. During the period of the Third Reich being in power the club were placed in one of sixteen top tiers; Gauliga Nordmark and then Gauliga Hamburg, where two titles were won.



In 1947 Victoria were one of four Hamburg clubs to join the newly formed Oberliga Nord. They didn't last long, and despite another couple of brief appearances at that top flight level they spent most of the 50's and 60's in the Amateurliga Hamburg. In 1963 the Bundesliga was formed with Victoria having three seasons in Regionaliga Nord before returning to their previous level.


They suffered a relegation, before an immediate return to the Amateurliga for the following eight seasons. In 1977 the club found themselves in the fourth tier Verbandsliga Hamburg for the following eighteen years. In 1994 league re-organising meant that the Verbandsliga became the fifth tier. The team won a couple of promotions to the Oberliga, but were subsequently relegated. 


2007 saw Victoria win the Hamburg City Cup which enabled them to enter the DFB Pokal (German Cup) the following season after a long absence. Sadly, they were soon knocked out in the first round by 1.FC Nurnberg.  In 2010-11 Victoria once again played in the DFB Pokal and provided a big shock as they defeated 2. Bundesliga club Rot-Weiß Oberhausen before they went down to VfL Wolfsburg. 












However, the good form continued as Victoria regained their Oberliga place and then a place in the fourth tier Regionalliga Nord. They remained there until the end of the 2013-14, before the team suffered another relegation back to the Oberliga.

SC Victoria Hamburg will play in Oberliga Hamburg in the 2015-16 season.


My visit

Monday 29th October 2012

I was ready to get back to visiting some new stadiums after the previous days football and drinking in Hamburg. It was my final day of four in Germany and I was determined to make the most of it, despite the biting winds and overcast conditions. 












After heading the wrong way on the train and a brief look down on the waterfront, I soon found my correct way to alight at Hoheluftbrucke station. I was getting the hang of the transport network and new that my one day ticket was also valid, so I got on a long bendy bus heading up the road of the same name, which dropped me just past the ground.


To my joy the gates were open with the groundsman getting on with his work after the previous days match against FC St Pauli II. I walked in to find a wonderful old fashioned three sided football ground, the sort of which are slowly being swallowed up by developers in the UK in exchange for soulless out of town arenas.


The near end had an open terrace with a grass bank behind. Another larger open terrace ran down one side of the pitch with segregation barriers in place. There was nothing behind the far goal as it bordered some trees but the final side had a sizeable open terrace and then a majestic raised Main Stand painted in the club colours of yellow and blue, set back from the pitch with seating inside. It really was a beauty, especially that stand.












I took plenty of photos before heading back to the main road and a return bus ride, in search of my next venue at Altona 93.









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