VfR Mannheim


Founded 1896, although the current name was started in 1911, through a merger of Mannheimer FG 1896, Mannheimer FG Union and FC Viktoria Mannheim. The highpoint of the club was undoubtedly winning the German Championship of 1949, when they defeated Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in front of 90,000 fans in Stuttgart's Neckarstadion.

The 1948-49 season will forever resound as the highpoint of VfR history, even if they ever do recover from the current problems. The previous season, they had finshed 7th in the Oberliga Süd, and weren't expected to be much of a threat. They surprised by finishing 2nd, despite being thrashed 0-7 at 3rd place Bayern München and even suffering a 0-5 pounding at nobodies VfB Mühlburg. They were also 11 points (on the 0-1-2 scale) behind winners Kickers Offenbach. So not much was expected in the playoffs. But things started out with a bang as they stunned Hamburger SV 5-0 in the quarterfinals, and then upset Offenbach 2-1 in the semis. The finals against Borussia Dortmund also started off badly, as VfR fell behind after only 5 minutes. Trailing 2-1, a rocket shot by Ernst Langlotz tied the match with 5 minutes, forcing overtime. Ernst Löttke got the winner, and VfR was the sensational champion. The next season, VfR could only finish 4th in the Oberliga, but as defending champion, still got a bid to playoffs. They again defeated Borussia Dortmund in the first round, but were then knocked out by worthless Preußen Dellbrück. The next season they finished only 12th in the league, and the decline had set in.

As a founding member of the Regionalliga, VfR had some decent results, but by the end of the 1960s, things were getting bad, and they pretty much remained at the amateur levels until the mid 1990s. (There was an unsuccessful 2.Liga sojourn in the mid 70s).

In 1998, membership spurned an offer from city rivals Waldhof for a merger. According to VfR, it basically meant being swallowed whole, and to their credit, they said "no thanks."

The 1998-99 season was hardly a success, although they were able to reverse the drastic collapse from the previous year. Then they surprised everybody by easily qualifying for the new combined Regionalliga. Despite average results on the field, the financial conditions continued to worsen, leading to a denial of license in 2002, followed by relegation in 2003 down to the 5th division. That season once again there was an attempted merger with Waldhof, which had also collapsed financially. However it also fell through. The club recovered back to the Oberliga on it's own for 2004.

Fullname Verein für Rasenspiele e.V. Mannheim
City Mannheim (Baden-Württemberg). Pop: 308,000 (2002).
Address Theodor-Heuss-Anlage 19, 68165 Mannheim
Phone: (0621) 415430
e-mail: info@vfr-mannheim.de
Colors Red jersey with white lettering. Black shorts, black socks. Also red-white-blue.
Stadium Rhein-Neckar-Stadion. Capacity: 12,000 (3,000 seats)
The stadium was built in 1971.
Tickets Easy to get. In the 1998-99 season, seemed like an average of 500 fans showed up, although the derby against Waldhof drew 8,000.
Foes How could they not be enemies with city rivals Waldhof Mannheim?
Heroes Josef "Sepp" Herberger was capped twice 1921-25, although he also played for enemy Waldhof. Of course, he was more famous as long time DFB coach. 5 other German internationals, but all pre-WWII. Obviously, the team from 1949, especially Ernst Löttke, who scored twice in the 1949 final.
Zeroes Club management, which constantly seeks to merge with hated Waldhof.
Pub Grub
The Net An official page at www.vfr-mannheim.de Sven Wolf runs a fanpage, www.vfr-fans.de , which provides the "official" game reports and is more up-to-date.

Recent History:

1963-64	(II)	Regionalliga Süd		6th
1964-65	(II)	Regionalliga Süd		6th
1965-66	(II)	Regionalliga Süd		12th
1966-67	(II)	Regionalliga Süd		5th
1967-68	(II)	Regionalliga Süd		6th
1968-69	(II)	Regionalliga Süd		14th
1969-70	(II)	Regionalliga Süd		15th
1970-71	(II)	Regionalliga Süd		16th
1971-72	(III)	Amateurliga Nordbaden		5th
1972-73	(III)	Amateurliga Nordbaden		1st
1973-74	(II)	Regionalliga Süd		13th
1974-75	(II)	2.Bundesliga Süd		20th
1975-76	(III)	Amateurliga Nordbaden		1st
1976-77	(III)	Amateurliga Nordbaden		3rd
1977-78	(III)	Amateurliga Nordbaden		4th
1978-79	(III)	Am.Oberliga Baden-Württemberg	6th
1979-80	(III)	Am.Oberliga Baden-Württemberg	7th
1980-81	(III)	Am.Oberliga Baden-Württemberg	9th
1981-82	(III)	Am.Oberliga Baden-Württemberg	4th
1982-83	(III)	Am.Oberliga Baden-Württemberg	5th
1983-84	(III)	Am.Oberliga Baden-Württemberg	5th
1984-85	(III)	Am.Oberliga Baden-Württemberg	2nd
1985-86	(III)	Am.Oberliga Baden-Württemberg	12th
1986-87	(III)	Am.Oberliga Baden-Württemberg	3rd
1987-88	(III)	Am.Oberliga Baden-Württemberg	5th
1988-89	(III)	Am.Oberliga Baden-Württemberg	13th
1989-90	(III)	Am.Oberliga Baden-Württemberg	11th
1990-91	(III)	Am.Oberliga Baden-Württemberg	9th
1991-92	(III)	Am.Oberliga Baden-Württemberg	10th
1992-93	(III)	Am.Oberliga Baden-Württemberg	4th
1993-94	(III)	Am.Oberliga Baden-Württemberg	3rd
1994-95	(III)	Regionalliga Süd		8th
1995-96	(III)	Regionalliga Süd		2nd
1996-97	(III)	Regionalliga Süd		7th
1997-98	(III)	Regionalliga Süd		14th
1998-99	(III)	Regionalliga Süd		10th
1999-00	(III)	Regionalliga Süd		3rd
2000-01	(III)	Regionalliga Süd		8th
2001-02	(III)	Regionalliga Süd		9th
2002-03	(?)	no first team fielded (?)
2003-04	(V)	Verbandsliga Nordbaden		1st
2004-05	(IV)	Oberliga Baden-Württemberg	12th
2005-06	(IV)	Oberliga Baden-Württemberg	10th
2006-07	(IV)	Oberliga Baden-Württemberg	15th
2007-08	(IV)	Oberliga Baden-Württemberg

(c) Abseits Guide to Germany