29.08.2017Bayer 04

History - Fascinating journey into our past

Our new website has been online since the start of the season. In the coming days we would like to provide you with a more detailed introduction to a couple of features and highlights on in part six we look at the history page.

When were Bayer 04 Leverkusen founded? Who was involved? Where was the first ground? The exciting story of our early years can be read on our history page. Of course, that is just the beginning. That section explains our whole club history – from the very beginnings to the present day.

Let's take a long look back – to the year 1903. In February, two employees Wilhelm Hauschild, long-standing secretary of the Wuppertal gymnastics committee, and August Kuhlmann, men's secretary of the Sonnborner gymnastics club appealed to the 'Men's factory and office officials' for support in founding a company gymnastics club. The appeal proved successful with 170 men signing up to show their interest.

In November, Hauschild sent a letter with all the signatures to the 'honoured management of the paint factories formerly known as Friedrich Bayer and Co.' asking for their response. Friedrich Bayer junior and Carl Duisberg greeted the request with enthusiasm and went on to do a proper job. On 1 July 1904, the 'Gymnastics and sports club of the paint factories formerly Friedrich Bayer and Co. in Leverkusen', TuS 04 for short, is established. It is the nucleus of the football section of TuS 04 established on 1 June 1907. The date of the founding of our club.

We tell the story of legends like 'King' Richard Job, Fredy Mutz and Theo Kirchberg. Of historic grounds like the Platz an der Dhünn and Stadtpark Stadium. Of exciting games in the Oberliga West, the first attempt to reach the Bundesliga in the promotion rounds in 1968. From promotion to Middle League two in the 1970s. And the next great achievement in 1979 with the famous team that made the jump to Germany's top flight. And our triumphs of winning the UEFA Cup in 1988 and the DFB Cup in 1993 earn their justified place in these pages. As does the incredible season of being treble runners-up in 2001/02.

But we don't just tell our long and varied story of success. We let it come to life. With fantastic photos, many of which have never been published. That is because they are partly from private photo archives of contemporaries. And at this point we want to say a huge thank you to one man: Rüdiger Vollborn, himself a legend of our club, is our 'hunter of lost treasures.'

Our former goalkeeper spent many months in the archives, held countless discussions with contemporaries, put in an incredible amount of research work and dedicated himself to our club history with a love of detail that is remarkable. Of course – it must not be forgotten – he was able to rely on work done by Bayer 04 historians like Walter Scharf and Werner Röhrig.

Fans and contemporaries we're happy to make a lot of material available to help rewrite our history. Many thanks to everybody involved.

But that is nowhere near the end of the history page. It is constantly extended and enlarged with anecdotes, photos and contemporary documents. Anybody who has ever spoken to Günter Haarmann – who played 511 games for Leverkusen between 1958 and 1970 – will know what incredibly exciting and also humorous stories of Bayer 04 football have already been written.

While our history up to the end of the 1980s is recounted in decades we go into detail for every season from 1990. With lots of information and photos. That means our site can be used as a reference work but also as a digital book that you can keep coming back to. Whereever you go you will discover interesting, curious and unheard of facts everywhere. Guaranteed!

Ready for a journey into our past? Then you are just one click away.

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