Actually, otto strunz, a merchant's assistant from hofen, was sent to england by his company for further training and to improve his language skills. But when he returned home in march 1893, what did he have in his bag?? A brand new fubball, made of leather, with a rubber bladder – the latest thing in ball technology at that time. And with fubball also the knowledge of the rules of a new sport, which enjoyed increasing popularity on the british islands. Whether his clients already knew the sentence: "what allow strunz?"
Probably not. Nevertheless, it was quite an impertinence for the sports scene of the time to introduce a new sport in french without being asked. Because nothing else happened in hof at the time, as the hirschaider art historian and "anpfiff"-in his lecture on the beginnings of the sport of fubball in upper franconia at the heimatkundlicher verein/CHW scheblitz, staff member robert schafer explained. The occasion was the 150th anniversary of the scheblitz gymnastics and sports club (TSV) of 1862, which is being celebrated this year.
Schafer impressively showed how revolutionary the sport of soccer was at that time as a team sport with a competitive character, using photos of the sporting activities that had been practiced up to then. The rows of gymnasts dressed in uniformly female clothing were well-ordered, disciplined and presumably following their exercises on command, without getting into competition with each other.
The situation was quite different when playing on the then not quite so green turf. A disorderly confusion, each player did what he wanted, without order, without direction – an operation that was called "gymnastics" could not be reconciled and therefore under "sport" company. Clubs that did this were "gymnastics and sports clubs".
In front of a large audience, robert schafer gave an expert and very lively account of how things progressed against this backdrop in upper franconia in 1893. In the hofer gymnastics club, to which strunz belonged, the committed leader of the gymnastics team introduced the innovative game to his young trainees aged between 14 and 18. The lovers were infected by the enthusiasm of the england returnee and called the "football department of the TV hof e.V." The later spvgg hof and at the same time the first football club in the kingdom of bavaria came to life. The "fublummelei, so the designation in a gymnastics writing, had arrived in franconia.
Waiting for the opponents
However, the french fubball pioneers were faced with a very important problem, schafer continued. For a long time there were no opponents with whom one could measure one's strength. It was to take a full five years before the hofer kickers were able to play their first competitive match. On 23. In october 1898, the soccer team of TV hof defeated ATV plauen 7-0. It was the first official soccer match in franconia! It was only thanks to the diplomatic skill of otto strunz that the gymnasts had allowed the founding of a soccer department in their club.
Despite the massive reservations on the part of the gymnasts, from the beginning of the 20th century onwards the "club" was founded. At the beginning of the twentieth century, soccer teams were also founded in the other towns of upper franconia. In bamberg, three young men from the catholic mercantile association "merkuria" were involved, who founded a fubball club in life. Together with seven companions and a ball full of money, heinrich stoffel, franz romer and josef nagengast founded the fubball club on the 3rd of march. March 1901 in the inn "goldene schwane" the 1. FC bamberg. With this, fubball had arrived in the city of the domreiter, and even a first playing partner was soon found: the 1. FC nurnberg, founded in 1900, was ready to offer the newly formed club the opportunity for practical exercise. The front part of the "schutzenwiese" in bamberg was chosen as the venue for the game. On 29. September 1901, the 1. FC bamberg the 1. FC nurnberg to its first betting match. For the "club from central franconia the meeting also meant the competition premiere.
Not much is known about this first soccer game in bamberg, schafer recalled, not even the result is known beyond doubt. The only thing that is certain is that nurnberg won – 2:0 according to some sources, 3:1 according to others. But after all: even the bamberger "tagblatt" the event was worth a report. In the style of the time, the local press informed its readers about what it called a "peculiarly interesting spectacle", the "friends of physical sports" had been offered. The reporter continues: "a very large audience had gathered, which followed the mutual matches with great interest. The two opponents showed their strength in an exhausting ball game that lasted almost 2 hours, and the nurnbergers, who managed to get the ball through the goal twice, emerged victorious".
But even if the guests decided the game in their favor, the best man on the pitch, according to the reports of the players involved, was the bamberg captain carl weisschnur. An impressed eyewitness reported on weis schnur's playing skills: "his balls go so high that you have to wait a long time for them to come back down to earth again."
In the following years, the first flyball clubs were also formed in the other larger towns in the region: 1904 in forchheim, 1906 in lichtenfels and neustadt, 1907 in coburg, 1908 in kronach, 1909 in selb, 1910 in bayreuth and munchberg, 1911 in kulmbach. In the german empire, the first soccer club was founded in hannover in 1878 (deutscher fubballverein zu hannover). On 28. January 1900 in leipzig, 86 clubs joined together to form the german fubballbund, the dfb. The first german soccer champion was vfb leipzig in 1903, who won the final against DFC (german soccer club) prague 7:2.
From 1920 onwards, a real wave of football clubs was founded, even in the villages. In many places in upper franconia, the first clubs were formed, for example in sassanfahrt, bischberg, memmelsdorf, oberhaid, buttenheim, schlusselfeld, zapfendorf, viereth, scheblitz, burgebrach, erlach and hirschaid, to name just a few examples from the bamberger land.