Friday, November 15, 2013

15 November 1894 - Football Comes To Austria

On 15 November 1894, a pair of Vienna teams played Austria's first football match.

One of the teams was First Vienna FC 1894, founded on 22 August by a group of English and Austrian gardeners working on the estate of Baron Nathaniel Rothschild. He provided a pasture known as Kuglerwiese on which to play and also gave them blue and yellow jockey uniforms from his stables to use as kits.

Their opponents in that first game were the Vienna Cricket and Football Club. They had been founded two years earlier as a cricket club only, but adopted football as a second sport and changed their name on 23 August, one day after First Vienna's founding. They met at Kuglerwiese where a crowd of about 300 people watched VCFC win 0-4.

The two teams remained rivals until VCFC dropped football in 1936. Even before then, in 1911, players and officials left VCFC to form the club that is now called FK Austria Wien, winners of 24 Austrian Bundesliga titles and the current holders. First Vienna, meanwhile, won five titles between 1931 and 1955 and now play in Austria's second division.

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