The Founding of WSV

Wuppertal itself only exists as a city since 1929, when several towns combined to form the Bergisch meglapolis. Although soccer was well entrenched in the new city, there was no single entity to carry the banner forward.

The moving figure behind the founding of Wuppertaler SV was the ex-mayor of the city, Heinrich Schmeissing. He worried about Wuppertal's image, and felt that a successful soccer club would help. His idea was to combine the two main sports clubs in Wuppertal, SSV Wuppertal and TSG Vohwinkel (a western district of Wuppertal). From a strictly sporting standpoint, he was probably right: in early 1954, a combined SSV Wuppertal/TSG Vohwinkel squad played two friendlies with excellent results. Manchester City was beaten 2-0, and German Cup winner VfB Stuttgart 4-2.

SSV 04 Wuppertal was founded way back on January 31, 1904 as Bergischer Wintersportverein (Bergisch Winter sports club). Generally speaking, it was largely an "athletics" rather than soccer dominated club. However, in the post WW-II period, they managed some degree of success on the soccer pitch. In 1951, they came in 2nd in the 2.Liga West, which qualified them for the playoffs for promotion to the Oberliga West, which was the highest league in region. The rivals for promotion (how deep are the roots!) were Alemannia Aachen, Rot-Weiss Oberhausen and Schwarz-Weiss Essen. 18.000 fans came into the Zoo to watch the 1-1 draw with Aachen. However, losses followed, and wins in the later rounds were not enough to make it through.

TSG 80 Vohwinkel also challenged for promotion to the Oberliga in the years 1952 and 1953. In general, their soccer division was considered to be stronger than that of SSV.

Despite initial opposition from members in both clubs, folks started coming around to the idea. At the 50th anniversary celebration of SSV Wuppertal, members voted 350-3 in favor of a merger. However, the Vohwinkel vote was not as smooth, as at the members meeting, speakers in favor of the merger were shouted down. Eventually, when it finally did come up for vote, the merger was carried 281-55.

At the first general meeting of the newly combined clubs, it was finally decided that the colors would be blue (from SSV) and red (from TSG). Among choices for the new name were "Concordia", Eintracht Wuppertal, 1.FC Wuppertal, but finally Wuppertaler Sport Verein won out.

The first season was a complete success on the field, as WSV swept to victory in the 2.Liga West.

The first WSV roster (1954/55):

Wilhelm - Menze - Hosung - Piesker - Breuch - Tack - Rothardt - Pelzer - Kirchstein - Oberhanns - Michael - Delvos - Makus - Werner
Coach: Raymond Schwab