1. FC Köln

1. FC Köln

1. FC Köln (First FC Cologne) was not formed until after the Second World War. In the pre-war years, there had been several clubs in Cologne all of a similar standard, but none good enough or strong enough to compete successfully with sides in the neighbouring Ruhrgebiet, such as Schalke 04 just 60 miles up the road in Gelsenkirchen. In 1948, the city council therefore used public funds to assist the merger of two of these clubs to form one city club that all of Cologne could get behind.

Founder members of the Bundesliga
During the 1950s and the first couple of years of the 1960s, the club won Germany’s First Division West five times and came runners-up on three occasions, thus taking place 8 times in the play-offs for the title. They reached the championship play-off final in 1960, ’62 and ’63, only winning however in 1962, when they beat Nuremberg 4-0. This burst of success was very timely, however, and saw Cologne become a founding member of West Germany’s new Bundesliga formed for the start of the 1963/64 season, with the club going on to become the new league’s first champions in the spring of 1964. In the early years of the Bundesliga, Cologne, one of the few clubs to make their players full-time pros, also went on to be one of the country’s most successful teams.

Relegation, then Prinz Poldi
From the early 1980s, however, the club suffered nealry two decades of decline culminating in relegation in 1999. In recent years, they have yo-yo-ed between the top flight and the second division. Having been relegated at the end of the 2003/04 season they were promoted again as champions just 12 months later, helped to the title by goals from rising star Lukas Podoloski.

Defeat to Liverpool on the toss of a coin
The club’s most notorious game was played in 1965 in the quarter-finals of the European Cup, where they came up against Liverpool. After two 0-0 draws, a third match was played which also ended in a 2-2 stalemate. As there were no penalty shoot-outs at that time, the tie was decided on the toss of a coin, with Cologne losing out.

Hennes the goat
A unique feature of 1. FC Köln is the club mascot – a goat called Hennes! The first goat was given to the club in the early 1960’s by a circus owner. Hennes VII is still present at all of the club’s home games, appears on countless merchanding items and can be watched 24/7 by fans via the goat’s very own ‘stall-cam’!

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