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Wuppertaler SV

Wuppertaler SV is a football (soccer) club from Germany.

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About Wuppertaler SV

Wuppertaler SV Borussia is a Football in Germany located in Wuppertal, North Rhine-Westphalia. The city was founded in 1929 out of the union of a number of smaller towns including Elberfeld, Barmen, Vohwinkel, Cronenberg and Ronsdorf – each with its own football club. Wuppertal Sport Verein was formed in 1954 out of the merger TSG Vohwinkel and SSV Wuppertal and was later joined by Borussia Wuppertal to form the present day club. In addition to the football side, today's sports club includes departments for boxing, gymnastics, team handball, and track and field.


Early history of predecessors TSG and SSV

TSG was active as a gymnastics club as early as 1880 while the roots of SSV go back to the 1904 establishment of the winter sports club Bergischer Wintersport-und SV 04 Elberfeld, which was known simply as SSV Elberfeld by 1905. This club took part in the early rounds of the national finals in 1930–31 and went on to play in the Gauliga Niederrhein, one of sixteen top-flight divisions formed in the 1933 re-organization of German football under the Third Reich, for two seasons in 1936–37 and 1937–38. The side was re-christened SSV 04 Wuppertal the following year and remained in the Gauliga another two seasons until relegated in 1940. They returned to first tier football in 1941 and earned a strong third place finish, but left the division part way through the 1942–43 season because they were unable to continue to field a full side as a result of wartime manpower shortages.

Post war play and the formation of WSV

After World War II, TSG Vohwinkel emerged as the stronger side and took up play in the first division Oberliga West (1947-63) in 1947 where they would compete until being relegated after a 14th place finish in 1950.

Both clubs were part of the 2nd Oberliga West (II) through the early 1950s, SSV under the guidance of coach Fritz Szepan, one-time star of Schalke 04 which had dominated German football from the mid-1930s to the mid-1940s. The union of the two associations that created Wuppertal SV in 1954 paid almost immediate dividends as the combined side vaulted to the top and captured the division title in 1954–55. Wuppertals return to the Oberliga was less successful despite the presence of players such as rising star Horst Szymaniak and Austrian international Erich Probst. The club could not escape the lower half of the table and was relegated following a next-to-last place finish in 1958.

WSV returned to the top flight for the 1962–1963 campaign, which was the last Oberliga season before the creation of the new first division Bundesliga (football). Although they had a poor regular season, the team enjoyed a good German Cup run, advancing to the semi-finals where they lost a closely fought match (0:1) to first division side and eventual cup winners Hamburger SV before a record hometown crowd of 40,000.

Rise to the Bundesliga

The following year the club became part of the Regionalliga West, one of five divisions on the newly established second tier circuit. Wuppertal delivered a solid performance, finishing second in their division to Alemannia Aachen. They remained competitive throughout the remainder of the 60s and on into the early 70s when they broke through to the top flight on the strength of a Regionalliga West title and victory in the subsequent Bundesliga promotion playoffs in 1972. WSV swept its opposition, winning all eight of its promotion round matches, a feat unique in the 11 seasons played under this playoff format.

Die Löwen would play three seasons in the top flight with their debut season being their most successful. While they never seriously challenged eventual champions Bayern Munich for the title, newly promoted WSV spent five weeks in second place before finally settling for a fourth place finish – a result that has only been bettered twice by teams newly promoted to the Bundesliga. This earned the club a place in the UEFA Cup tournament where they would go out in the first round 6:8 on aggregate (1:4, 5:4) to Polish side Ruch Chorzów.

However, the club was spent the next season and only escaped relegation on goal difference after an 82nd minute away goal in the final match of their campaign in VfB Stuttgart. Widely regarded as having too old a roster to compete, the following year the club stumbled to an ignominious last place finish on 12 points. This stands as the second-worst ever Bundesliga result, only four points better than the sad sack Tasmania 1900 Berlin side of 1965–66. The only bright spot of this miserable campaign was a 3:1 victory over the Bayern Munich side built around Franz Beckenbauer which dominated European football at the time.

Post-Bundesliga (1975) to date

After their turn in the Bundesliga Wuppertal spent four seasons in the second tier 2nd Bundesliga (football) before playing a dozen seasons in the Amateur Oberliga Nordrhein (III). A series of strong finishes in the late 80s eventually led to a return to the 2.Bundesliga for the 1993 and 1994 seasons before relegation once again to third tier football in the Regionalliga West/Südwest.

The club had a close brush with bankruptcy in 1998 and the next season was sent down to the Oberliga Nordrhein (IV) for failing to pay their dues. By 2003 they had earned a return to the Regionalliga Nord (III) where they compete today.

In 2004, the club merged with Borussia Wuppertal to become Wuppertaler SV Borussia adopting the red and blue colours and logo of the more senior WSV. Borussia had been formed in 1976 through the union of SV Germania 1907 Wuppertal and VfL 1912 Wuppertal. Like SSV, Germania was also the successor to an Elberfeld club – Germania Elberfeld – which took part in the preliminary rounds of the national finals in the early 30s. While Borussia quickly developed into a competitive side, they were not financially strong enough to support their ambition and joined forces with WSV in hopes of returning the city to football prominence. From supporter's side, the additional name Borussia today is still rejected regarded to the club's history. This controversy and the recent merger remains a subject of discussion at annual meetings.

In the 2007–08 DFB-Pokal (German Cup) tournament Wuppertaler SV reached the Round of 16 after beating Erzgebirge Aue (4:3 on penalties) and Hertha BSC Berlin (2:0). They were put out by eventual cup winners Bayern Munich (2:5). Because of the small capacity of Stadion am Zoo, the match was played in the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen.

Recent seasons


- Oberliga Nordrhein (IV) champions: 1990, 1992, 2000, 2003
- Niederrheinpokal (North Rhine Cup) winners: 1999, 2000, 2005, 2007


Notable players

- Striker Günter Pröpper (born 12 August 1941) played with Wuppertaler SV from 1970–79 and represents the club's golden era of the early 70s. His 52 goals in the club's 1971–72 campaign set a second division record that still stands. In 87 Bundesliga matches he scored 39 goals. After retiring he settled in Wuppertal and has remained associated with the club.

- Outside forward Horst Szymaniak, who was with WSV from 1956–59, participated in two FIFA World Cup. He is the only player from the club to be called to play for the Germany national football team while playing in Wuppertal, where he earned 20 of his 43 caps. He was one of the first German players to follow the big money to play professionally in Italy and won the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1974 with Inter Milan. Szymaniak was also an unfortunate member of the worst-ever Bundesliga side Tasmania 1900 Berlin.

- While Erich Probst enjoyed only limited success during his stay in Wuppertal (1956–58), he made 19 appearances for the Austria national football team and participated in the FIFA World Cup 1954 where Austria finished third. Probst scored six goals, tying him for second place with two other players among goalscorers at the competition.

- Alfred Beck, 1955–58, capped once for Germany when with FC St. Pauli.

- Erich Haase, 1956–68, played one international match for East Germany national football team while with Turbine Halle.

- Waldemar Ksienzyk, 1992–94, played one international match for East Germany while with Berliner FC Dynamo.

- Erich Ribbeck, who later coached the Germany national football team, started his career with SSV and later played with WSV. In his early days as a coach at Rot-Weiss Essen he used Günter Pröpper only rarely, which caused that player to move on to Wuppertaler SV.

- Mohammad Reza Adelkhani, played the 1968–69 season in Wuppertal. He joined Tehran club Esteghlal FC in 1973 and was capped 17 times for Iran national football team.

- Thomas Litjens
- José Valencia

Track and field

SSV Wuppertal brought their track and field department to the 1954 union that formed Wuppertaler SV. Athletes from the club have competed in the European and World championships as well as the Olympics. Some notable athletes from the club are:

- Manfred Kinder, 400m-Runner, European Champion, Olympic medalist
- Maria Jeibmann, 400m-Runner, German champion
- Manfred Knickenberg, 100m-/200m-Runner, Olympic participant, European championship medalist, German champion
- Maren Collin, 100m-/200m-Runner, European championship runner-up, German champion
- Ruth Limbach, 100m-/200m-Runner, German championship runner-up (1949)

Former coaches

- Raymond Schwab (1954–1956)
- Edmund Conen (1956–1957)
- Walter Werner (1957)
- Jupp Schmidt (1957–1958)
- Emil Melcher (1958–1959)
- Willibald Kreß (1959–1961)
- Robert Gebhardt (1961–1965)
- Adi Preißler (1965–1967)
- Kuno Klötzer (1967–1968)
- Horst Buhtz (1968–1974)
- János Bédl (1974–1975)
- Diethelm Ferner (1975–1976)
- Herbert Burdenski (1976–1977)
- Erhard Ahmann (1977)
- Herbert Burdenski (1977–1978)
- Bernd Hoss (1978–1979)
- Rolf Müller (coach) (1979–1980)
- Heinz Lucas (1980)
- Rolf Müller (coach) (1980–1981)
- Kalli Hoffmann (1981–1982)
- Antoine Hey (1982–1983)
- Manfred Reichert (1983)
- Thomas Bartel (1983)
- Manfred Reichert (1983–1984)
- Detlef Pirsig (1984–1986)
- Günter Pröpper (1986)
- Rolf Müller (coach) (1986–1989)
- Dieter Tartemann (1989–1990)
- Wolfgang Jerat (1990–1992)
- Gerd Vom Bruch (1992–1993)
- Michael Lorkowski (1993–1994)
- Dieter Tartemann (1994)
- Werner Fuchs (1994–1996)
- Wolfgang Jerat (1996–1997)
- Ali Höfer (1997)
- Rudi Gores (1997–1999)
- Roman Geschlecht (1999)
- Frantisek Straka (1999–2001)
- Antoine Hey (2001–2002)
- Georg Kreß (2002–2004)
- Werner Kasper (2004)
- Uwe Fuchs (2005–2007)
- Wolfgang Jerat (1990–1992)
- Wolfgang Frank (2008)
- Christoph John (2008)
- Uwe Fuchs (2008–2010)
- Peter Radojewski (interim) (2010)
- Michael Dämgen (2010–2011)
- Karsten Hutwelker (2011)
- Hans-Günter Bruns (2011-)

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