The German Gelsenkirchen is well known for its many lovely football stadiums. Most groundhoppers will immediately think of Schalke 04 and all of their past stadiums. But the smaller Horst (part of Gelsenkirchen) has an absolute gem as well.
This gem was already built in 1928 and was the home ground of STV Horst-Emscher. The team itself has its origin in 1892 when Turnverein Horst 1892 was founded. Fourteen years later they started a football division as well. In 1920 the team merged with Turngemeinde Horst, which had a football division since 1912. STV Horst-Emscher was born and the merger brought a lot of successes.
Throughout the 1920s, the team managed to climb up to the second and later on also the first division of the regional competitions. Along the way, they encountered names which might sound very familiar right now: Borussia Dortmund, Preussen Münster and the eternal rivals of Schalke 04. While football in Germany became more and more a national thing, STV Horst-Emscher initially grew together with German football. The club played first and mainly second division.
Up until the next merger that is. In 1973 the team joined forces with the other rivals; Eintracht Gelsenkirchen. For the next five years, the new club would be known as STV Eintracht Gelsenkirchen-Horst, after which they retook their old name. But the damage was already done. They relegated more and more and fell down deep in the divisions. By the time it was 2007, their financial status was lacking. The team had to withdraw from all competitions and finally ceased to exist.
But the stadium, which once had 30.000 visitors in derbies against Schalke 04, wouldn't remain empty at all. Because in the meantime BV Horst-Süd 1962 had settled in the majestic Fürstenbergstadion. This team was created in 1962 after it was a non league team named FC Flotho for a while. The name was inspired by goalkeeper Flotho. He played at Schalke 04 and later on at STV Horst-Emscher.
BV Horst-Süd did climb up through the divisions, but wouldn't get to the level STV Horst-Emscher once had. But they can call themselves the proud user of the Fürstenbergstadion and they're serious about it as well. Recently the stadium underwent some modernisation works, although groundhoppers like us might not like those. All terracing disappeared for instance. But the improvements were needed for a healthy continuation of the team. Whatever happened, this stadium is still definitely worth a visit. If you're in the neighbourhood, don't forget to pass by Horst.
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