The current FC Remscheid club was form as recently as 1990 following a merger of BV Lüttringhausen and VfB Marathon Remscheid. The latter first saw the light of day in 1906 and two years later their near neighbours Lüttringhausen also joined the fledgling football scene in this part of North Rhine-Westphalia. In 1968 Marathon became German amateur champions for the first time but three years later Marathon merged with BV Remscheid. However, it was Lüttringhausen who would then experience the greater success, enjoying three seasons at Bundesliga 2 level in the 1980’s they also became German amateur champions in 1986. In 1990 both clubs discussed a mutually beneficial merger which resulted in the naissance of a new club, FC Remscheid. Interestingly a club called VfB Marathon Remscheid 1990 has formed in recent times but play well down the Kreisliga divisions.
The joining of forces had an instant impact as the team swept the then third tier Oberliga Nordrhein and after success in the promotion play-off rounds gained promotion to the Bundesliga 2. Their stay in the second tier lasted just two seasons, but the end of that decade saw the club sink to the fourth tier burdened with debts from their meteoric rise. During the 1998/99 season the debts of DM 1.5 million became insurmountable and the club collapsed. A reformation occurred with the club being admitted to the Verbandsliga Niederrhein. After just three seasons Remscheid dropped to the sixth tier, the Landesliga Niederrhein, where they currently remain. Their most recent success saw the Landesliga title come their way in 2008/09. The clubs traditional rivals include Union Solingen and Wuppertaler SV.
Remscheid have played at their current ground since the early 1970’s. However, the Lenneper Stadion was actually first opened in 1925 and had a capacity of around 5,000. During Lüttringhausen and then Remschied’s remarkable climbs to Bundesliga 2, the stadium was substantially upgraded to the tune of several million marks. The ground now boasts seating for 2,168 spectators, mainly in the west stand, and the ample end terraces and terracing to either side of the press area afford another 10,300 spaces should the stadium ever need to fill its’ generous capacity again. To celebrate Remscheid’s elevation to Bundesliga 2 in 1991 the stadium was renamed to celebrate Remscheid-Lennep’s most famous son, Wilhelm Röntgen, inventor of the X-Ray, a medical breakthrough that would also won him the first ever Nobel prize for physics.
The game itself, the last of the season, was one of goodbyes. Club officials continued that most wonderful of German footballing traditions of presenting six departing players with a small memento of their time at the Röntgen. Two of those leaving were major figures in this game. After seven minutes the home captain, Markus Hosnjak, limped off between a guard of honour of his team mates. The feat of the 36 year old was a remarkable 28 years service to his club. His team mate, Serkan Hacisalihoglu, scored a well taken hat-trick before leaving the field to warm applause. The first of his goals marked the pivotal moment of the game. The visitors had taken an early lead through the tricky Fernandez but just before half time their giant centre back Adomat was red carded for stopping a goal bound shot with his hands. Hacisalihoglu buried the penalty to level the contest at the break.
Halftime was spent watching a few minutes of VfL 07 Lennep’s game on the adjacent “hardplatz”. The unforgiving clay/cinder surface is pleasantly set in the lee of the main stand of their more illustrious neighbours.
Back to the main event, the big Turkish striker scores two more in the second half, split by another deft strike from Velbert’s mercurial wing man, Fernandez. I find out that after two prolific seasons with Remscheid, Hacisalihoglu has been asked to leave, the club unable to afford him anymore. It is with an obvious sense of disappointment the skilful forward takes his leave from the field. With finance being under scrutiny again at the Röntgen, I hope that the good people running the Remscheid club can once again steady the ship, for on this most glorious of late May afternoons they provided a prime example of why watching football in Germany is so very rewarding.
Sunday May 25th 2014 – Landesliga Niederrhein
FC Remscheid (1) 3 (Hacisalihoglu pen 41,52,72)
SC Velbert (1) 2 (Fernandez 7,67)
Attendance: 250 (at Röntgen Stadion)
15. Nico Tauschel, 2. Markus Hosnjak (c), 3. Sebastian Grund, 7. Sebastian Pichura, 9. Serkan Hacisalihoglu, 11. Marcel Vetter, 18. Serkan Gürdere, 20. Fabian Uthoff, 27. Matthias Rahmann, 33. Domenico Cozza, 42. Rodrigue Deadwood.
Subs: 1. Dennis Fromm, 8. Leroy Leinweber, 21. Marius Suchanoff, 22. Daniel Monterio (for 9,74 mins), 23. Francesco Paola Rossa (for 2,7 mins), 31, Yannick Freer (for 31,25 mins).
1. Daniel Grell, 2. Mike Dzierzon, 3. Simon Schubeis (c), 4. Andre Adomat, 5. Marc Stuckhart, 6. Andreas Nitas, 7. Luis Rena Fernandez, 8. Marvin Warnass, 9. Julian Gaulke, 10. Robin Hilger, 11. Serverin Przybylski.
Subs: 12. Chrisopher Fuchs (for 5,57 mins), 13. Jonas Doil, 14. Felix Pellizari (for 10,78 mins), 15. Patrick Köllner (for 9,38 mins), 16. Dimitrios Spyrou.
Yellow cards: Grund (Remscheid), Fernandez (Velbert)
Red card: Adomat (Velbert)