Club | 08/05/2019

German champions 1964

On this day: 55 years ago, FC were champions

A legendary title and a legendary celebration: 55 years ago today, 1. FC Köln were crowned as the very first Bundesliga champions.

In moments of huge excitement, 1. FC Köln fans rushed onto the pitch. That was the case on Monday evening, as FC secured promotion in Fürth. That was also the case on 9th May 1964, as 1. FC Köln and captain, Hans Schäfer were officially handed the Meisterschale for the first time.

1. FC Köln went into the season as one of the favourites for the new, professional division that began on 24th August 1963 and was part-initiated by FC President, Franz Kremer. FC were more than justified in their role. FC were already top of the league by the second week of the season, as the 19-year-old Wolfgang Overath continued to impress. FC only gave up top spot once throughout the entire season.

FC were the attraction of the league. Where red and white went, the stadium was normally full. No other team had a higher average of away fans in the league. The stadium was packed to the rafters in Braunschweig, so much so that the fans were on the edge of the pitch and were held back by police.

The team coached by Georg Knöpfle were already champions two weeks before the end of the season, following a 5:2 win against Borussia Dortmund on 18th April. The celebrations were somewhat subdued, as the real party was planned for the evening following the final home game against VfB Stuttgart.

On 9th May 1964, it was finally time: after a tough 2:1 win over VfB and the handing over of the Meisterschale, it was time to make the way from the stadium to Geißbockheim. The team and officials were carted on a red and white wagon on the journey. Overall around the club house were drink and food stands. Music was playing and a fireworks show was arranged for after dark. The Kölsch flowed and only at dawn did the last of the 60,000 FC fans make their way home.

1964 was a busy year...

Not only did FC claim the first ever Bundesliga crown, but it was also a year that saw the Rolling Stones release their self-titled debut album. Roald Dahl made public Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as Liverpool were crowned Champions of England and Europe. Meanwhile, internationally, Spain won the European Championship. In terms of popular toys of the time, Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em and GI Joe took centre stage.

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Total table
PL. Team Pt.
14 1. FC Union Berlin 7
15 1. FC Köln 7
16 FC Augsburg 6