Founded 1966 in it's current format, but the roots are much deeper. In 1906, SC Olympia 06 Oberschönweide was created, and it took 14 years to give up the Olympics and they became SC Union. In 1923, they were defeated by Hamburger SV in the finals of the German championship. In the interwar period, Union was one of Berlin's premier clubs, winning the local championship and playing at the larger German stage.
In the post WWII period, Union was split. The players and coaches fled to the West, and created "Union Berlin", whereas the eastern part of the club remained SG Oberschönweide. The Union team was a powerhouse in Berlin, and big matches drew huge crowds. In 1953, a playoff against Hamburg drew 85,000 into the Olympia stadion, and a decisive game against Tennis Borussia drew 75,000. However, with the construction of the Berlin wall in 1961, things began to go down hill rapidly. Today Union 06 plays in the lower divisions before crowds consisting of players girlfriends, wives and kids.
The eastern branch of the club finally gave up the district name, and became 1.FC Union Berlin in 1966. Now there were two "Unions" in non-unified Berlin, but with the collapse of the western side, FCU became the dominant force. FCU remained the most pouplar East Berlin club for several years. The sole "honor" would be the winning of the GDR-Cup back in 1968. Gradually, they began to lose ground to the cheaters at Dynamo Berlin, the Stasi club.
After the reunification, Union continued to have decent results on the field, but the financial situation brought the club on the verge of oblivion. Only a last minute fan protest saved the club. Although things were a bit tight, they survived and were eventually able to bring in sponsors.
The goal for 1998-99 was champions, and as a result, it has to be considered disappointing. Union challenged for most of the season, but when Chemnitz really turned up the heat, they folded like a deck of cards. On the financial side, things took a nice turn however, as major sponsorship deals enable the club not only to survive, but strengthen for the future. The 2000 season started off well, but with the end in sight, ended in bitter disappointment. After dominating the Regionalliga Nordost, Union dropped the playoffs against VfL Osnabrueck. Both games ended in 1-1 draws, but Osnabrueck won on penalties. Then after a 3-1 victory over South runner up SC Pfullendorf in the "last chance" playoffs, Berlin lost 1-2 at LR Ahlen, thereby failing to make the goal of 2.Liga.
The 2000-01 season will go down in history as a great one for Eisern Union. The Berliners started out slow, but got rolling in full gear by midterm, and ended up easily winning the Regionalliga and gaining promotion to the 2.Liga. Undoubtedly, Union fans were doubly thrilled when rivals Dynamo Berlin got stuck in the 4th division because they couldn't get a license, and Tennis Borussia basically totally collapsed into oblivion.
Playing in the 2.Liga was tough, but there is no doubt that Union has now established themselves and the no.2 Berlin club behind Hertha. After dropping in 2004, Union dominated the initial 3.Liga in 2009 to go back to the 2nd level.
|Full Name||1.FC Union Berlin e.V.|
Berlin (Berlin). Pop: 3,388,434 (2002)
Hämmerlingstraße 80-88, 12555 Berlin|
Phone: (030) 6566880
Red and white
Eisern (iron). In the old days, the players used to be in blue, same as
their mechanics and other working class fans.
Alte Försterei. Capacity: 22,000|
Built around 1923. This decrepit facility is nevertheless a "cult-classic". The fans would fall onto the field if it weren't for the fence. Architectural plans have been drawn up for a complete refurbishment, that would build a modern 30,000 capacity. The western Union 06 plays at the Poststadion.
7.50-22 euros. (2004). If you use your "Eisern Union" bankcard, you get a
0.50 euro discount.
Small but dedicated. Averaged about 7,500 in 2004 (2.Liga). An
interesting twist is that in a 3rd division away game
against Tennis Borussia, some 2,000 Union fans showed up, and instead of
entering TeBe's grounds, they turned over their ticket fees to Union.
After difficulties, crowds began to increase, averaging around 3500 by the
the 90s, and they are pretty strong
in their support of Union. Their battle cry, Eisern Union! (Iron
Union) is always present.
Hertha BSC and Hansa Rostock
BFC Dynamo and Tennis Borussia are the most bitter
rivals. Whereas Dynamo is understandable, going back to GDR days, the
blood between Union and TeBe is more recent. This goes back to the early
90s, when Union qualified for promotion, but apparently faked the license
info to the DFB. Union believes that TeBe finked on them. In any case,
Union was denied promotion, and TeBe was promoted instead. || Heroes
8 GDR internationals. The best was probably Reinhard Lauck, 33
caps, although he "transferred" to BFC Dynamo.
Berliner-Pilsner is the official sponsor.
Berliner Bürgerbräu has also been mentioned.
||Pub Grub ||
The stadium Imbiss (snack bar) has the usual array of sausages,
including Currywurst. Drinks such as beer and sodas of course. Also of
interest for the visitor is that on the 1st Tuesday of the month, at
7 pm, at the
Abseitsfalle bar, there is a meeting of fans and clubs, often with
players and coaches as guests. || The Net
The official home page is
www.fc-union-berlin.de . There are also several good fan pages,
them Eisern Union at
www.union-berlin.de , and is quite informative.
Recent History: -------------- 1965-66 (**) DDR-Liga, St. Nord 1st 1966-67 (*) DDR-Oberliga 6th 1967-68 (*) DDR-Oberliga 8th 1968-69 (*) DDR-Oberliga 13th 1969-70 (**) DDR-Liga, St. Nord 1st 1970-71 (*) DDR-Oberliga 5th 1971-72 (*) DDR-Oberliga 11th 1972-73 (*) DDR-Oberliga 13th 1973-74 (**) DDR-Liga, St. B 1st 1974-75 (**) DDR-Liga, St. B 1st 1975-76 (**) DDR-Liga, St. B 1st 1976-77 (*) DDR-Oberliga 11th 1977-78 (*) DDR-Oberliga 8th 1978-79 (*) DDR-Oberliga 10th 1979-80 (*) DDR-Oberliga 13th 1980-81 (**) DDR-Liga, St. B 1st 1981-82 (**) DDR-Liga, St. B 1st 1982-83 (*) DDR-Oberliga 12th 1983-84 (*) DDR-Oberliga 13th 1984-85 (**) DDR-Liga, St. A 1st 1985-86 (*) DDR-Oberliga 7th 1986-87 (*) DDR-Oberliga 11th 1987-88 (*) DDR-Oberliga 11th 1988-89 (*) DDR-Oberliga 14th 1989-90 (*) DDR-Liga, St. A 2nd 1990-91 (*) DDR-Liga, St. A 1st 1991-92 (III) Am.Oberliga Nordost 1st 1992-93 (III) Am.Oberliga Nordost 1st denied license 1993-94 (III) Am.Oberliga Nordost 1st denied license 1994-95 (III) Regionalliga Nordost 3rd 1995-96 (III) Regionalliga Nordost 2nd 1996-97 (III) Regionalliga Nordost 5th 1997-98 (III) Regionalliga Nordost 6th 1998-99 (III) Regionalliga Nordost 6th 1999-00 (III) Regionalliga Nordost 1st 2000-01 (III) Regionalliga Nord 1st 2001-02 (II) 2.Liga 6th 2002-03 (II) 2.Liga 9th 2003-04 (II) 2.Liga 17th 2004-05 (III) Regionalliga Nord 18th 2005-06 (IV) Oberliga Nordost-Nord 1st 2006-07 (III) Regionalliga Nord 12th 2007-08 (III) Regionalliga Nord 4th 2008-09 (III) 3.Liga 1st 2009-10 (II) 2.Liga 12th 2010-11 (II) 2.Liga 11th 2011-12 (II) 2.Liga
(c) Abseits Guide to Germany