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


September 2015

Monday, May 23, 2016

Duisburger FV 08 (Germany)

Duisburger FV 08 is a sports club from the Hochfeld district of Duisburg in Nordrhein-Westfalen who were formed on in June 1908 as Hochfelder Fußball Club. Over the years the club developed sections for handball, boxing, walking, table tennis, pool and rugby. However, it is through football that the name of DFV is best known.

The club’s first home ground was located where Rheinhauser Straße now stands. In 1909 Hochfelder became members of the Westdeutschen Fußballverband. In 1914 the club changed its title to Duisburger Fußballverein 08.

The club played in the Kreisliga before a runners-up place saw them qualify for the Gauliga Niederrhein, which was one of sixteen top flight divisions introduced under the rule of the Third Reich. In 1933 the club won the regional Niederrhein-Pokalsieger.

The team were relegated in 1937, but took Borussia Dortmund to a replay in the knock out stages of the Tschammerpokal, as the German Cup was known at the time. The replayed game at Hochfeld attracted a crowd of 8,000 to witness a 3-1 defeat.

Once peace was restored after World War Two, DFV resumed to play Bezirksklasse football before winning promotions to the Oberliga and then the Oberliga West in 1949, which was one of the top flight divisions of the time. However, their spell at that level lasted just one season.

Günter Brocker began his career at the club before progression to FC Schalke 04, where he won a Meisterschaft.  In 1953 the club descended to the Verbandsliga Niederrhein, then winning promotion to 2. Liga West, before falling further to playing in the Bezirksliga. Some brief flirtations in cup competitions gave the DFV something to cheer.

By 1982 the club were playing in Verbandsliga Niederrhein, with DFV taking on and losing 4-1 to FC Bayern München in a friendly at MSV’s Wedau-Stadion in front of a crowd of 12,000. 1988 saw a relegation, followed by promotion in 1991. In 1994 Duisburger just missed out on promotion to Oberliga Nordrhein.

In 1998 the club was relegated from the Verbandsliga. By 2003 DFV were relegated to Kreisliga A, before going right down to Kreisliga B in 2009. Promotion was won at the first attempt to regain their place in one of many eighth level divisions in German football.

Salvatore Campanella was given the task as head coach of winning promotion in the 2012-13 season. He departed to be replaced by Alessandro Vergaro for the 2015-16 campaign after just missing out with a runners-up spot.

Duisburger FV 08 will play in Kreisliga A Duisburg in the 2015-16 season.

My visit

Sunday 28th February 2016

It’s strange how sometimes things work out on a day of groundhopping. To be totally honest DFV were not on my radar initially, although I noted the location of the Grunewald-Kampfbahn before my departure.

Originally I had meant to visit Duisburger SV 1900 and then Eintracht Duisburg before the MSV Duisburg v St Pauli match. However I had got slightly lost trying to find the UBahn at Duisburg Banhof meaning I had missed the service to Waldfriedhof.

The next tram wasn’t for thirty minutes. Instead I got on the next one to arrive as I saw a bloke wearing a blue and white scarf, only to discover I was going in completely the wrong direction. Not all was lost as I got out and discovered the next tram on the opposite platform was heading straight to Grunewald. Talk about a bit of luck!

On alighting I soon followed my instinct and walked down Paul-Esch-Straße, where many fans were parking up before heading to the Schauinsland-Reisen-Arena. I soon found myself walking inside the ground for a look and I was pleasantly surprised.

The ground showed signs that it had staged a far higher level than football in the past. The side by the railway had quite a decent sized open terracing. Opposite was a few steps with benches. The far end was a grass bank behind the goal, while the near end had the clubhouse and changing rooms.

The pitch was fairly unkempt, although it was still the winter break. I later read that the club also used the Sportanlange on Grunewaldstraße. This was fairly confusing. The pitch on Grunewaldstraße had an artificial surface, so perhaps that venue took precedence in the winter months, a bit like in the Czech Republic?

Whatever, it was time to get on my way, especially as I was about to go on a detour after thinking I’d detected a short cut by following more fans in blue and white!


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