There’s parts of this world that aren’t know for soccer. These aren’t parts of the world that don’t have the sport, these are parts of the world that had soccer but have had other things happen in their city. One such place is Nurmberg, Germany, and as a military historian myself, it’s very fascinating that people played soccer at a very successful level in that area. Let’s go back to the start of football in Germany.
The club was founded in 1900 by a group if 18 people from a local pub that wanted to see people play football instead of the other English sport, rugby. It only took the club eight years to win its first league title, which was in the South German Championship. Then after World War One, they turned winning into utter dominance, case in point from July 1918 to February 1922 the club was undefeated in 104 matches. By 1919 they acquired the nickname Der Club for their style on and off the pitch. They were becoming the most recognized club in the country.
The 1922 final was contested between HSV and Nurmberg, but wasn’t concluded on the field. At this time in history, flood lights weren’t a common thing in the sport, so once it got dark, the game had to be suspended. The game had gone on for three hours and ten minutes, with both clubs deadlocked on 2-2. The replay went into extra time, at 1-1, and was called when Nurmberg was reduced to seven players. This was an era when there weren’t any substitutes. That didn’t come for almost 40 years. The referees thought, incorrectly that Nurmberg couldn’t continue to play. The DFB had to intervene and ruled that HSV take the title, but were to renounce the title due to “Good Sportsmanship”
Nurmberg would start to fade by the time the won their last trophy of the era in 1927. They’d make way for a strong Schalke club, that would be great during the Third Reich era. Nurmberg would take National titles at the start and the end of World War 2, in 1936 and 1948. They’d also take the DFB Pokal in 1935 and 1939. The club would win their last two top division titles in 1960-61 and 1967-68.
Their last spell in the Bundesliga was from 2009-14. which was their longest current run in the top league since the mid 80’s to the mid 90’s. Right now they are in the 2Budesliga, and have been pushing to the top over the past couple of seasons. So the next time when people tell you that Germany is boring, read the excellent book Tor! and find the great clubs of the past.