Hertha, founded in 1892, is the most popular Berlin based club and the flagship of Berlin soccer.
It was actually founded by four teenagers in the Wedding district as BFC Hertha 92. Since they were not yet of age, they had to get their uncle to be the Club president. They took their name from a steamship called Hertha, whose smokestack happened to be painted blue and white.
By 1905, the first major success: winning the city championship. Despite continued success, the club was still financially poor, and their ground was sold out from under them. (Guess that made them "homeless".) In 1920 however, they merged with Berliner Sport Club. This new squad was built around goalkeeper Paul Gelhaar and wonderful forward Hannes Sobek. In 1925, they made their appearance in the German semi-finals, losing in overtime to FSV Frankfurt. Next season, they got to the championship, losing 4-1 to Fürth. 1926/27/28/29 they were again in the finals, losing all. Finally in 1930, they edged Holstein Kiel 5-4, with Hans Ruch scoring the winner in the 87th minute, The next year they defended their title, when Sobek scored twice as they beat 1860 München 3-2. However, they were to be edged out by Minerva Berlin in the league the following year, and were unable to defend their title.
Hertha would end up as the 2nd ranked team on points of the Weimar era, 1920-33, behind only 1.FC Nünberg. In the 3rd Reich, results were not as strong for Hertha, as they ranked only 21st, with only 3 Gauliga titles to show. The post-WWII years saw mostly mediocre results, but a spurt at the end of the 1950s allowed them to sneak into the new league that would take Germany to footballing heights.
As founding member of the Bundesliga, Hertha was again a power in the 1970s, highlight being reaching the semifinals of the UEFA Cup in 1979. Things started downhill then, eventually leading to several years of Bundesliga exile.
Bottom was reached in 1986, when Hertha fell out of the 2.Liga and dropped down to the Amateur Oberliga Berlin. Attendance dribbled down to an average below 1,800, from a club that had averaged 44,000 back in 1971. To make matters worse, Hertha crashed in the promotion rounds, and the Oberliga had to be repeated. Hertha popped back into the Bundesliga in 1990, but in that horrible season, they finished dead last. Berlin was once again plunged into darkness. In fact, with the collapse of the GDR, BFC Dynamo quickly became a non-factor as well. This probably made berlin the largest city in the world without 1st division representation. Perhaps the sole highlight was in 1993, when the amateur squad reached the finals of the DFB Cup, losing 0-1 to Bayer Leverkusen. Finally, the "run" ended in 1997, when Hertha managed 3rd in the 2.Liga, and gained promotion.
With Hertha now back in the Bundesliga, and major financial backing, fans and the media looked for this Berlin club to regain it's status as a powerhouse.
The 1998-99 season turned out to be a wonderful surprise for Hertha. The team got off to a decent start, and battled all the way, qualifying for the Champions League. Michael Preetz won the scoring title, becoming the first Hertha player ever to do so. The next season was expected to be even better, but the team never seemed to live up to potential in the league. Nevertheless, they qualified for the UEFA Cup, and had a nice run in the Champions League. Combine that with an average attendance of some 55,000, Berlin soccer was back on top. Hertha seems to have justified the optimism with several decent finishes, although the ambition to challenge for the title looks still a bit remote. The recent squads have been built around Brazilian playmaker Marcelinho, who may turn out to be the best Brazilian ever to never pull on the yellow jersey. When he was let go, the club began to flounder again. Once again, the great potential was unrealized, and the Berlin fans continued to suffer...In 2009, coach Lucien Favre put together a squad that displayed minimalist football, but seemed to grind out results. They led the table at times, and certainly challenged for the title and Champions League. But in the end, they were bitchslapped by last place Karlsruhe on the final week, and missed an opportunity for 2nd. A good season, at least for the Berlin fans. However, 2010 proved to be an absolute disaster. The club and fans were expecting a title run, but instead they sucked and finished a sensational dead last.
|Full Name||Berliner Sport-Club Hertha 1892 e.V.|
Berlin (Berlin). Pop: 3,388,434 (2002)
Hanns-Braun-Straße, Friesenhaus 2, 14053 Berlin|
Phone: (030) 3009280
Blue horizontal stripes on white shirt, blue pants. (The traditional
colors are with vertical stripes black and blue.)
Olympiasatdion. Capacity: 76,243 (all seater). |
Yep, the famed "1936-Olympics-Hitler-built-it-Jesse Owens-showed 'em-etc" stadium. Still perhaps Germany's most famous, this stadium has had huge crowds. In older days, it was the site for the Championship finals, usually drawing over 100,000 fans. It was not unusual for Hertha to also draw humongous crowds in the earlier Bundesliga days. The stadium has been revamped, reducing capacity, but Hertha can still pack them in. (e.g. averaging 54,000 in 98)The stadium is also host for the DFB Cup finals. A renovation is planned for the 2006 World Cup.
Priced bewteen 8-45 euros. Given the large size of the stadium, you should
be able to get seats unless there's a huge match. Bear in mind though
Hertha's popularity is high with the successful return of the Bundesliga
to Berlin, so the best ones will probably be taken.
A lot. Some 200 recognized fan clubs. In past years, Hertha would draw
90,000 for big matches. Expect to see a stadium full of blue and white.
Averaged about 40,000 in 2004.
1.FC Union Berlin, Karlsruher SC. Also "anyone playing against Schalke".
There was a fan friendship with Wuppertaler SV back in 2.Liga days.
Schalke is unpopular. This goes back to the 60's when Schalke benefitted
from a DFB decision to expand the Bundesliga when they should have been
relegated, but Hertha got the book thrown at them for alleged
financial inproprieties. || Heroes
Some 25 German internationals, but few top notch. Erich Beer was
capped 24 times in the 70s. Forward Hans Sobek from the champions
of the 30s. For the centennial
in 2003, fans voted the all-time Hertha team: Kiraly; Müller,
Friedrich; Rekdal, Marcelinho, Beer; Kruse, Preetz, Sobek. || Zeroes
Hugely popular Sebastian Deisler was considered one of
Germany's most promising players in the late 1990s, but then transferred
to Bayern. Bernd Patzke was capped 24 times for Germany but he,
Wild and Zoltan Vargas accepted money to throw games in the
Bundesliga Skandal. ||Beer
Krombacher is the official
sponsor. But they're outsiders from a town near Siegen! Berlin has many
fine regional beers, for example,
Berliner-Kindl-Jubiläums-Pilsner has been recommended. You
should try the
Berliner-Weisse-Kindl, which is a wheat beer with a touch of
syrup. Sounds a bit strange, but it is a refreshing summer drink.
Schultheiss-Pilsner has it's fans as well.
||Pub Grub ||
No alcohol allowed in the stadium, so "do your drinking in front". There
is non-alcoholic Grotejahn Alkoholfrei beer, but you've been warned
not to try it :)|
Among places to check out is Holst Am Zoo, a pub on Kurfürstendamm owned by an ex-Hertha president.
| The Net
||The official site is www.herthabsc.de , which
also has English and Chinese versions.
There are many fan pages. One good one is Robin
Rachel's Hetha Inside, at www.hertha-inside.de
(c) Abseits Guide to Germany
1963-64 (I) Bundesliga 14th
1964-65 (I) Bundesliga 14th license revoked
1965-66 (II) Regionalliga Berlin 1st
1966-67 (II) Regionalliga Berlin 1st
1967-68 (II) Regionalliga Berlin 1st
1968-69 (I) Bundesliga 14th
1968-70 (I) Bundesliga 3rd
1970-71 (I) Bundesliga 3rd
1971-72 (I) Bundesliga 6th
1972-73 (I) Bundesliga 13th
1973-74 (I) Bundesliga 8th
1974-75 (I) Bundesliga 2nd
1975-76 (I) Bundesliga 11th
1976-77 (I) Bundesliga 10th
1977-78 (I) Bundesliga 3rd
1978-79 (I) Bundesliga 14th
1979-80 (I) Bundesliga 16th
1980-81 (II) 2.Liga Nord 3rd
1981-82 (II) 2.Liga 2nd
1982-83 (I) Bundesliga 18th
1983-84 (II) 2.Liga 11th
1984-85 (II) 2.Liga 14th
1985-86 (II) 2.Liga 17th
1986-87 (III) Am.Oberliga Berlin 1st
1987-88 (III) Am.Oberliga Berlin 1st
1988-89 (II) 2.Liga 13th
1989-90 (II) 2.Liga 1st
1990-91 (I) Bundesliga 18th
1991-92 (II) 2.Liga 3rd
1992-93 (II) 2.Liga 5th
1993-94 (II) 2.Liga 11th
1994-95 (II) 2.Liga 11th
1995-96 (II) 2.Liga 14th
1996-97 (II) 2.Liga 3rd
1997-98 (I) Bundesliga 11th
1998-99 (I) Bundesliga 3rd
1999-00 (I) Bundesliga 6th
2000-01 (I) Bundesliga 5th
2001-02 (I) Bundesliga 4th
2002-03 (I) Bundesliga 5th
2003-04 (I) Bundesliga 12th
2004-05 (I) Bundesliga 4th
2005-06 (I) Bundesliga 6th
2006-07 (I) Bundesliga 10th
2007-08 (I) Bundesliga 10th
2008-09 (I) Bundesliga 4th
2009-10 (I) Bundesliga 18th
2010-11 (II) 2.Liga 1st
2011-12 (I) Bundesliga
(c) Abseits Guide to Germany