GROUND // Weidenpescher Park - VfL Köln 99 (lost ground, Germany)

Germany is packed with wonderful stadiums for groundhoppers. Even more than Belgium one can spend weeks and months wandering around in the German cities and find numerous treasures. Some of them well known, some of them well hidden. In Cologne, not that far from the German-Belgian border, there are several absolute gems.


One of the most beautiful ones is the lost ground in the Weidenpescher Park, where VfL Köln 99 used to play. VfL Köln first saw the daylight in 1937 after a merger between Kölner SC 1899 and CfR Köln 1899. Kölner SC 1899 started off in 1899 (duh) as Internationaler Fußball-Club Köln. The same year the name was changed already in Cölner Fußball-Club. In 1903 the team moved to a stadium in the Weidenpescher Park, right next to the famous horse track. In the first years of the 20th century CFC was an absolute top team and won several championships, amongst others the West-German titles in 1903 and 1906. In 1916 the name was changed into Kölner SC 1899. When the roaring 20s began, the team started to become a mediocre team with occasional relegations and promotions.




Shortly after Kölner SC 1899 was founded, several members of the Cölner Turnverein founded the football team FC Borussia 1899 Cöln. Those first years didn't prove to be very successful. In 1914 the name was changed into Clüb für Rasenspiele 1899 Köln eV (CfR Köln 1899) and some regional titles were won shortly after. In 1937 these two teams decided to join forces and became VfL Köln 1899.




The new team played in the Weidenpescher Park stadium and was in fact the continuation of Kölner SC 1899. They only regained some success in the 40s, but they would never be as successful as the earlier Kölner SC 1899. In 1943 they would temporarily join forces with SpVgg Sülz 07 (this was done more often during WWII in order to be able to have stronger teams together). After the war they went separate ways again.




Interesting to know is that SpVgg Sülz 07 merged with Kölner BC 01 in 1948 to become the bigger 1. FC Köln. Shortly after the war there were other mergers as well. All in all the creation (after all of these mergers) of 1. FC Köln, Fortuna Köln and SC Viktoria Köln was too much competition for VfL Köln 1899 to be of any importance anymore. Ever since the 50s VfL played in the Kreisliga, the lowest leagues in Germany.





In 2002 VfL moved to a new stadium only a couple of 100 meters in distance from this one in the Weidenpescher Park, after having played there for 99 years. The Weidenpescher Park stadium could hold to about 16.000 people in the 20s and 30s and was often used for international games of Germany.






In 2013 VfL decided to merge with FSV Köln-Nord 1991 and became 1. FSV Köln 1899. One of the biggest names to have played at VfL Köln 1899 was definitely Otto Pfister, the German coach working in and for African countries most of the times. Pfister also played for SC Viktoria Köln. Nice details: Pfister was born on the year VfL was created; 1937.






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