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 their maintenance.

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 fortunate 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 heightens 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 try today. They'll be delighted 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. Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby as he grows into a young man!

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


November 2018

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Dresdner SC (Germany)

The name Dresdner SC carries much history in German football. Formed in the city of Dresden on the 30th April 1898, and later reformed for the 1991-92 season, the story is one of history and fascination.

The origins of the club go back even further than the official formation with Dresden English Football Club which was formed by expat Englishmen in 1874. Members of that club along with those of Neue Dresdner FC formed Dresdner Sport-Club in 1898 at a meeting at local restaurant, Stadt Coblenz.

The new club initially played their home games at Ostragehege before moving to Dresden-Strehlen and then Lennéstraße. The large fields enabled DSC to participate in many sports; in time providing many Olympic athletes.

In football ‘die Mohnroten’ (the Poppies) lifted their first Meisterschaft Ostsachsens (East Saxony championship) in 1902. They would win the title every year until 1912 with the exception of 1910. The 1905 victory saw Dresdner win the Saxony title against Halleschen FC 1896 but fall in the semi-final stage of the German championship against Berlin TuFC Union 1892.

DSC began to become a well known name in European football as they defeated prominent Czech sides in friendlies as well as taking on Portsmouth and then going on a tour of Russia in 1911.

DSC’s home ground proved insufficient for the crowds and interest that they were attracting so they moved to a new venue; Schützenhof in Trachau. However, they soon outgrew that ground so they constructed DSC-Stadion on the Ostragehege, which was opened in October 1919.

By this time the club no longer had it all their own way in their city, despite completing their eleventh East Saxony title along with two regional Ostsächsischen Gaupokal cup wins. Gradually the team was rebuilt with young hungry players. By 1933 the tally of East Saxony titles had risen to nineteen with a further five middle championships being added.

The club failed to become German champions despite reaching the final stages on occasions. The legendary coach Jimmy Hogan joined the club and developed star striker Richard Hofmann.

The club suffered a setback when the wooden stand and clubhouse burned down in October 1928, but once again Dresdner fought back with new constructions being in place just a year later. Goalkeeper Willibald Kreß was in the Germany team that finished third in the 1934 World Cup.

By then Germany was under Nazi rule and the Third Reich installed sixteen top flight Gauliga leagues. DSC were crowned as champions of Gauliga Sachsen (Saxony) in 1934. A second title came in 1939, with the team reaching the final of the German Championship where they were defeated 1-0 by Schalke 04 in front of 95,000 fans.

The Saxony title was retained in 1940, the same year that DSC lifted the Tschammer-Pokal as the DFB Pokal or German Cup was then known, following a 2-1 extra time win against 1. FC Nürnberg. The Gauliga title was retained for a third successive season in 1940-41 and Dresdner won the Cup once again; this time by beating Schalke 04 2-1 in Berlin.

In 1942 the majority of DSC’s players had been called up for the Nazi war effort so they had little hope of winning a third German Pokal. Once again the club turned to its exceptional youth players who came to the fore.

A fourth Gauliga was lifted in 1942-43, this time being converted as Dresdner SC became champions of Germany after defeating Saarbrücken 3-0 in the final in Berlin’s Olympiastadion with 80,000 in attendance.

The following season DSC repeated their Gauliga feat and once again with 200,000 supporters filling the streets of Dresden in celebration before the team reached the German Championship Final. The venue was kept secret in fear of bombing but still 76,000 fans turned out to see Dresdner defeat Hamburg SV 4-0.

However, the joy brought by DSC was soon forgotten as Dresden was heavily bombed as the War came to town. DSC Stadion was heavily hit in February 1945 by Allied air attacks as the city was under siege.

All existing sports clubs were banned once Germany surrendered and the War ended. DSC were dissolved with Sportgemeinschaft Friedrichstadt being founded as a successor organisation. Dresden found itself in the new East German GDR state.

SG Friedrichstadt began brightly, winning the Dresdner Bezirksmeisterschaft (Dresden Championship) in 1947 and then again two years later, which was doubled up with victory in the Sächsische Landesmeisterschaft, Saxony title. In 1948 DSC Stadion was renamed Heinz-Steyer-Stadion with 80,000 spectators attending a display from a Soviet gymnastic team.

In Germany’s first ever floodlit game at Heinz-Steyer-Stadion, SG Friedrichstadt defeated the GDR East Germany national team 2-0. The match marked the final appearance of forty four year old Richard Hofmann.

On the final day of the 1949-50 season SGF played at home to ZSG Horch Zwickau with 60,000 fans in attendance and thousands locked outside. Zwickau won the game 5-1 but the match was marred by serious riots after it was proved that the match referee had been ordered by the GDR authorities to ensure that the visitors would win.

The authorities used the riot as an excuse to shut down SG Friedrichstadt as the club were still seen as the bourgeois successor to Dresdner SC. East German premier Walter Ulbricht personally vowed to eradicate the old DSC spirit. Club captain Helmut Schön was banned from football for a year.

Before the infamous Zwickau game several players had fled to the West to join Berlin club Hertha BSC. For the following season the club played as Hertha BSC/DSC Berlin. Some players left to join TSG 1878 Heidelberg in 1951.

A merger took place in 1952 as Dresdner Sport-Club Heidelberg was formed playing in the third tier Amateurliga Nordbaden. They were finally promoted to the Amateurliga Rhein-Neckar in 1959. Despite another league victory the club struggled as locals made no secret that they resented immigrants taking their places. The team dropped to the fifth tier with DSC Heidelberg merged with Heidelberger SC to further dilute the club.

Meanwhile back in Dresden, some remaining players had joined BSG Tabak Dresden, with that club taking in players from several other dissolved clubs. Other DSC players joined up with SG Mickten.

In 1950 the authorities formed SG Deutsche Volkspolizei Dresden, who from April 1953 became SG Dynamo Dresden, who you can read all about here XXXX. Players were recruited from several cities and Dresden teams for the new club, while SG Mickten merged with the football department of Sachsenverlag Dresden to form Betriebssportgemeinschaft Sachsenverlag Dresden (BSG Sachsenverlag).

The club moved into Stadion am Eisenberger Straße, which would later become Paul-Gruner-Stadion. In 1950 BSG Sachsenverlag would rename themselves as BSG Rotation Dresden. The club would later be known as 1990 TSV Rotation Dresden.

In November 1954 another club, Sportclub Einheit Dresden was formed to play at Rudolf Harbig Stadium in Moritzburg. The club grew and played prestigious friendly games as well as progressing in the domestic game. In 1958 SC Einheit Dresden defeated SC Lokomotive Leipzig 2-1 after extra time to lift the FDGB Pokal (East German Cup) in Cottbus.

By then the club had moved to the old Dresdner SC home on Ostragehege. However, the side were relegated from the top flight in 1962 before the football club was dissolved in 1965. The club continued as FSV Lokomotive Dresden with the team wearing the old DSC colours of red and black.

The authorities had been scared that SC Einheit and SG Dynamo would merge to form a new 1.FC Dresden which could be associated with the old Dresdner SC, who were still hated following the spin of the Stasi and the communist rule.

To counteract any plans, Dynamo was made a Dresden selective team, with all the best players from other clubs being taken to represent them. FSV Lokomotive were hit hard as they lost many of their brightest prospects.

Through the spin of the authorities SG Dynamo became the most popular team in the city ahead of FSV Lokomotive as they began to pick up national honours. FSV managed to hold onto a place in the second tier DDR-Liga until 1984. Promotion to the top division Oberliga followed in 1978.

However, because the club received no state support they went back down and ended up playing in the localised Bezirksliga in front of a few hundred fans until the fall of the GDR. In March 1990 the sports division at DSC changed their name to Dresdner SC 1898 and took FSV Lokomotive in so the club had a football division once more.

There was talk of a merger once again with Dynamo, but the committee of DSC wanted to keep their own identity. In 1990-91 DSC became champions of the Dresden area. Another local club SV Motor TuR Dresden-Übigau joined up as part of Dresdner SC.

In the season 1991/1992, the DSC became the champion of the regional league of Saxony and climbed into the Amateuroberliga Nordost-Süd. The team was relegated in 1995, but they returned at the first time of asking. In 1996-97 the league was won but DSC failed to be promoted in the play-offs.

Owing to financial constraints DSC left the Amateuroberliga Nordost-Süd in 1998 in its hundredth anniversary. At a meeting in December 1998 the members voted that the football department become independent. In 1999 the club became known as Dresdner SC Fußball 98, playing in the national third tier Regionalliga Nordost with an average attendance of 1,066, with the highlight being a 1-0 away to local rivals Dynamo.

In 1999-00 a second place finish was secured to qualify for the two division third level for the following season in Regionalliga Nord. After a narrow escape DSC were relegated to the Oberliga Nordost-Süd at the end of the 2002-03 campaign as the city was hit hard with floods and several Portuguese clubs assisted in letting DSC decamp to use training facilicites.

Worse was to follow as DSC descended to the fifth tier Landesliga Sachsen in 2004-05. Another demotion came at the completion of the 2005-06 campaign which saw DSC become members of the Bezirksliga. Another disastrous season followed with another relegation to the seventh level Bezirksklasse Dresden.

Dresdner SC reached their nadir in 2008-09 as the league was designated as being the eighth tier of German football following re-organisation of the league system. The league was renamed Stadtoberliga Dresden for 2011-12 with DSC finishing as runners-up and winning promotion to Sachsen Bezirksliga Ost.

This league was renamed Landesklasse Sachsen Ost for 2014-15 as Dresdner SC continued with lower mid table finishes playing at Heinz-Steyer-Stadion in front of a couple of hundred supporters, just seeing off relegation in 2015-16.

The 2016-17 campaign saw a brighter performance under trainer Stefan Steglich, which saw DSC end half way up the league.

Dresdner SC will play in the Landesklasse Sachsen Ost in the 2017-18 season.

My visit

Friday 3rd March 2017

Having arrived in the stunning city of Dresden the previous evening, I had gone to Twitter to contact my German pal Sven, who compiles the first class Thai football website Thai-Fussball.com, which can be seen here.

I was looking for pub and football suggestions. While I wanted to get in plenty of sightseeing, I also wanted to visit any other prominent football clubs in the city. I have to admit that the fascinating story of Dresdner SC had passed me by.

After a good walk and taking in the beautifully reconstructed buildings by daylight, I walked to the DDV-Stadion to suss out where I needed to be that evening for the Dynamo v Kaiserslautern match. It seemed only right that a visit to the Heinz-Steyer-Stadion was next on the agenda.

It was eight stops on the number 11 tram from Lennéplatz to Kongresszentrum. The stunning old Yenidze Cigarette Factory building with its oriental interior design more associated with a mosque dominated the skyline between me and the stadium.

Passing under the railway on Ostra-Allee, I turned right into Pieschener Allee which took me to the gates of the Heinz-Steyer-Stadion. It was my lucky day. The gates were open as the groundsmen were working on the pitch and workers were doing some building work.

The stadium was primarily used for athletics, with a running track around the pitch. Open terracing ran round both ends and down the near side. A large electric scoreboard adorned one end, while the other had a gap for vehicles to enter.

The near side had an old traditional players tunnel separating the terrace, with a tall Main Stand at the back. The far side was dominated by a new full length seated stand. It was a very neat arena, which had obviously been updated.

Once I departed I went round by the vehicle entrance where there was a plaque displaying al, the records that had been created inside by athletes of great repute. I carried on as I headed towards Loschwitz to continue my education of a truly wonderful city.

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