In the 1960's, the club basically bounced around in the 2nd division, having missed any chance to get in the Bundesliga founding. But by the end of the decade, a truly strong team had developed, that would raise the WSV flag across the land, and not just Vohwinkel or Alter Markt Schwebebahn station.
The glory years were roughly 1970-1974, when the club made the march
through the Regionalliga West (then 2.division) into the Bundesliga.
In the 1970-71 season, the club finished 3rd in a fierce battle with Fortuna Düsseldorf and VfL Bochum, both of whom were promoted to the Bundesliga. Among the highlights of the season was a crucial 1-1 home draw against Düsseldorf, in front of 35,000 fans. Unfortunately, despite dominating the game, WSV was unable to get the needed win. Although WSV diehards argued that WSV was in fact superior to both Bochum and Düsseldorf, they just missed out.
The 1971-72 season saw total domination of WSV, as they romped through the Regionalliga West and wiped out the opposition in the promotion playoffs, winning all their games. This was the year the Günter "Meister" Pröpper scored a record 52 goals. Among the highlights was a 5:0 thrashing of Rot-Weiss Essen on their own home turf. This was especially satisfying, as RWE was a very arrogant club with snivelling fans, like my traitor brother. In the promotion rounds, their was no stopping the WSV juggernaut, as they waltzed through, winning all their games.
The following season, 1972-73 in the Bundesliga was very successful, finishing 4th and achieving a UEFA Cup spot. Unfortunately, they were knocked out in the first round by Ruch Chorzow of Poland. They got blasted 4:1 in the first leg, and the 5:4 home victory in the return leg was not enough. Nevertheless, this season was certainly one of the highest achievements for WSV. However, the club was based on veteran players, and basically got old, dropping out of the Bundesliga two years later, and eventually out of sight. (To see the list of players from this golden age, click here )
After several years in the 3rd division (Oberliga at the time), generally with good results, they finally made it back to the second division. The most notable thing of the Oberliga years was that in the late 70s/early 80s, they had to play a derby against ASV Wuppertal , whom I remember playing on dirt fields.
1994/95 saw WSV struggle in the 2.Bundesliga. In an extremely tough battle against relegation, well, to put things bluntly, they lost and were relegated.
WSV put on a strong season in the 3rd division Regionalliga West/Südwest, before collapsing at the end, and missing out on promotion. One of the more interesting stories is the Sven Christian's Saga . This story is not exactly one of the shining episodes in club history.
WSV was the pre-season favorite, but they stunk straight out of the blocks. In the 2nd half of the season, they pulled things together and ended up "respectable", but they were never in the race.
This has to rank as the low point in WSV history. The 1985-86 season was just as results wise, but this was worse. Aside from the fact that the team sucked on the field, at the end of January 1998, the club was forced into bankruptcy proceedings. Things looked like curtains, but at the last minute, club president Friedhelm Runge agreed to cover the debts, and WSV was saved. At the end of the season there was also a bit of "Sven Christians II: The Sequel" as the club was feuding over the contract with Constantin Rontea.
Just when you think things can't get any worse, WSV comes through in the clutch and makes it even worse: forcible relegation into the 4th division Oberliga!