In its third full season the Bundesliga produced another different champion, Paul Joyce reports
The long-term significance
This season, the third of the Bundesliga, continued the trend that lasted till 1968 of different clubs being champions. TSV 1860 Munich and Eintracht Braunschweig claimed their only league titles in this era and 1.FC Nuremberg won in 1968 – only to be relegated the next year. But the next nine titles were shared by two sides promoted in 1965 – Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach. The fluent possession football espoused by Bayern coach Zlatko Cajkovski and Gladbach’s Hennes Weisweiler would also bring success to the West Germany team.
Story of the season
TSV 1860 led the league by three points in December, only to be overhauled by Borussia Dortmund in February. With two games to go, Dortmund and 1860 were level, with Bayern one point behind. The penultimate round of games saw 1860 travel to Dortmund on May 21 – 16 days after Reinhard “Stan” Libuda’s 30-yard chip gave Borussia a 2-1 extra-time victory over Liverpool in the Cup-Winners Cup final in Glasgow, making them the first German team to lift a European trophy. Dortmund’s trainer Willi Multhaup now paid the penalty for fielding the same, exhausted, team. TSV 1860 triumphed 2-0, snuffing out the threat of strikers Siegfried Held and Lothar Emmerich. With Bayern losing 4-1 at home to the 1964 champions, 1.FC Cologne, a 1-1 draw on the final day with Hamburger SV saw Die Löwen (the Lions) crowned as champions in their own Grünwalder Stadion. It was a fitting triumph for the prodigiously skilful Peter Grosser and the eccentric Yugoslavian goalkeeper Petar Radenkovic, whose frequent forays upfield drove manager Max Merkel to despair. An attacking 4‑2‑4 formation aided Rudi Brunnenmeier, 1860’s all‑time top marksman, and Timo Konietzka, poached from Dortmund in the summer. Yet defender Bernd Patzke was the only 1860 player in West Germany’s World Cup squad. Bayern could console themselves with a 4-2 victory over Meidericher SV in the German Cup final and beat Glasgow Rangers the next year to claim the Cup‑Winners Cup. Off the pitch, Bayern appointed Robert Schwan to be the first business manager of a Bundesliga club, an important move. Clubs were still financially uncompetitive: Konietzka trebled his wages in 1967 when he left 1860 for Swiss second division side FC Winterthur.
For the record books
Hertha Berlin had been thrown out of the Bundesliga in 1965 for making illegal payments to players. To ensure top-flight football for West Berlin, the league was expanded to 18 clubs and a place was offered to Tasmania Berlin, although they had failed to qualify for the promotion play-offs. Given only two weeks to prepare – Radio Luxembourg had to broadcast an urgent appeal to Tasmania’s players to return to Berlin from their holidays – the club set a number of unwanted Bundesliga records, including the lowest points tally, highest home defeat (9-0 to Meidericher SV) and the worst goals-for and goals-against totals. While 81,500 saw Tasmania win their first home match, against Karlsruher SC, a mere 827 fans witnessed their 0-0 draw with Mönchengladbach on January 15, 1966 – the league’s lowest ever attendance.
Same place today
Hamburger SV are the only founder members of the Bundesliga never to have been relegated. To everyone’s joy, Bayern Munich have retained their top-flight status since gaining promotion in 1965.
Moved furthest away
Tasmania Berlin went bankrupt in 1973, but SV Tasmania-Gropiusstadt 73 are in Berlin’s Verbandsliga, the fifth level of the pyramid. Borussia Neunkirchen returned to the top flight for 1967-68 but are becalmed in one of nine regional fourth divisions. TSV 1860, FC Cologne, Eintracht Braunschweig, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe and (the now renamed) Meidericher SV are in the second division.
Went on to greater things
Franz Beckenbauer ~ The Kaiser made his West Germany debut in September 1965, was player of the year in this, his first Bundesliga season, and scored four times in the 1966 World Cup. The rest is history.
Gerd Müller ~ struck his first top-flight goal for Bayern in August 1965. He went on to score a record 365 goals in 427 league matches and 62 goals in 68 internationals.
Günter Netzer ~ made his Bundesliga debut for Mönchengladbach in August with Berti Vogts and Jupp Heynckes. Won two championships with Gladbach and two more with Real Madrid.
Disappearing from view
Helmut Rahn and Hans Schäfer ~ The last members of West Germany’s 1954 World Cup winners to retire bid farewell to the Bundesliga in 1965. Max Morlock had made his final appearance for 1.FC Nuremberg in 1964.
Horst Szymaniak ~ The former Catania, Inter and Varese midfielder spent one ill-fated season with Tasmania Berlin and never graced the Bundesliga again. He was also not selected by Helmut Schön in 1966 for what would have been his third successive World Cup finals.
Meidericher SV ~ The Ruhr-based club became MSV Duisburg in January 1967.
From WSC 237 November 2006. What was happening this month
You must be logged in to comment. Please register if you don't have an account yet.