The 'Schwatte' comes and scores

The first matchday takes Bayer 04 to Munich to face the German champions. On 11 August 1990 Ulf 'Der Schwatte' Kirsten, who joined Leverkusen from Dynamo Dresden, makes the first of a total of 350 Bundesliga appearances for Bayer 04 Leverkusen. With 63 minutes gone he opened the scoring with an assist from Ioan Lupescu. The match ends all square at 1-1. Following Andreas Thom, Ulf Kirsten is our second player to come from the former German Democratic Republic.


Four points away from top spot

In spite of a mixed first half of the season Bayer 04 I just four points behind league leaders Werder Bremen. Three draws at the start of the season followed by four wins and then the team travels to leaders FC Kaiserslautern on the same number of points. A good first half sees Bayer 04 got into half time 1-0 behind. The match ends in a 2-1 defeat and and the Brazilian Jorginho is shown a red card on 70 minutes. Only one more win comes before the winter break, 2-0 home victory against FC Köln but the gap to the top is not too big.

UEFA Cup exit in Round of 16

Bayer 04 go through next round ahead of Twente Enschede and GKS Katowice but they are knocked out by Danish club Brondby in the Round of 16. A 3-0 defeat in the Danish capital proves too much to turn round in the second leg at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium. Despite 90 minutes of hard work Bayer 04 can only draw 0-0.

Talcid is new sponsor

For the first time in the history of Bayer 04 Leverkusen team plays in a shirt with product advertising. The kit bears the word 'Talcid' and a chameleon. Talcid is a Bayer product against stomach upsets such as heartburn, bloating and stomach aches. The Bayer players wear the new advertising on the shirts from 1991 and the kit has its first run out in the opening game of the second half of the season against Bayern Munich on 23 February. In addition, the new shirt sponsor provides Bayer 04 fans with a large banner. For the almost completely sold out game against Bayern our team wears a shirt without a Bayer cross for the first time in a Bundesliga match.

© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

Team photo with the Bayer 04 – Talcid – banner. Back row from left to right: Thomas Hörster, Alois Reinhardt, Guido Frye, Erich Seckler, Christian Schreier, Martin Kree; middle row from left to right : coach Jürgen Gelsdorf, Markus von Ahlen, Heiko Herrlich, Oliver Page, Andreas Fischer, Knut Reinhardt, Ioan Lupescu, Marcus Feinbier, Marko Schröder, assistant coach Peter Hermann; front row from left to right: Franco Foda, Ulf Kirsten, Andrzej Buncol, Rüdiger Vollborn, Dirk Heinen, Jorginho, Marek Lesniak, Andreas Thom

New fan song 'Carnival at Bayer' is presented

Also in the game against Bayern, Bayer 04 present a new fan song, a mix of different songs sung by the fans in the stadium. The title of the new song is 'Carnival at Bayer'.

Winter training camp in Germany

Following the outbreak of the Gulf war in Iraq and the associated worldwide fear of terrorist attacks, Bayer 04 cancelled the plan training camp in Florida. Bayer AG bans all their employees from taking business flights. Bayer 04 are not bound by this recommendation but it is advice that has to be reacted to. The team discuss the issue and a vote produce a majority against flying. That meant the training camp in Florida was cancelled to be replaced by a trip to Königswinter and Timmendorfer Strand with temperatures of up to -17°.

No improvement after winter break

Bayer 04 start the second half of the season with two defeats. Coach Gelsdorf and his players are under pressure. After a very laboured and disappointing 1-0 home win against Bayer 05 Uerdingen there is a decisive game in Wattenscheid. The Werkself are still in touch the target of a UEFA Cup place but performances are not good enough to see the future in a positive fashion. There is an upturn at Wattenscheid with a 2-1 win on 87 minutes. The goalscorer was Jorginho and the next home win came with a 3-1 victory against Hertha Berlin. Calm ruled for a few days but the team fails to find consistency on the pitch. On 31 May 1991, a day after a 3-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt, coach Jürgen Gelsdorf is sacked and Peter Hermann takes over the last two games of the season.


© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

Germany-wide discussion on seats instead of terraces

The DFB wanted to ban standing in Bundesliga Stadium. On this matchday in all venues across the Federal Republic there are fan protests from the terraces including at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium. Under the motto 'Sitting is for your arse', fans lay out their banners in an empty block ahead of the kick-off across Germany to highlight the need for standing. At Leverkusen on 13 April 1991 you can see banners like 'Rather go home than not stand any more', 'We are standing up for football' and 'Are people peaceful through sitting' in A block, which was the home section for Bayer 04 fans at the time.

© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH