RTS Widzew Lodz (Polish pronunciation: [ˈɛr ˈtɛ ˈɛs ˈvʲidzɛf ˈwut͡ɕ]) is a Polish football club based in Lodz. The club was founded in 1910. Its official colours are red and white, hence their nicknames Czerwona Armia (Red Army) and Czerwono-bialo-czerwoni (Red-white-reds).
The club was founded in 1910 as Towarzystwo Milosnikow Rozwoju Fizycznego Widzew (Society of Physical Development Fans Widzew).
After the first world war the club was reactivated in 1922 as Robotnicze Towarzystwo Sportowe Widzew Lodz (Workers' Sports Association Widzew Lodz).
Widzew has won four Polish league championships (in 1981, 1982, 1996 and 1997) and the 1985 Polish Cup.
After winning the League in 1982, 14 years later in 1996 Widzew Lodz managed to win the Polish League Championship after a record season once again. During the successful season of 96 Widzew Lodz conceded only 22 goals in 34 matches. In that season no other team in the polish league had such a strong defensive. But also the offensive in that year was extraordinary scoring 84 goals securing altogether 88 points. Thanks to the great performance of Wozniak the team remained unbeaten for the whole season.
In the following season 1996–1997 the team from Widzew Lodz played a great season as well. At the end they were rewarded with winning the polish league championship a consecutive time. Once again the defence secured a solid result with 74 to 21 goals.
They have appeared in 117 matches in European Cups, of which they won 42. Widzew knocked European giants Manchester United out of the 1980–81 UEFA Cup, although their biggest achievement was reaching the semi-final of the 1982–83 European Cup, eliminating then 3 times winners Liverpool along the way.
In the beginning of season 2007/2008 Widzew was bought by one of the wealthiest men in Poland – Sylwester Cacek.
In January 2008, while playing in the Second League, the Polish Football Association ruled that Widzew Lodz should be relegated due to their involvement in a corruption scandal. However, Widzew became champions that year and were allowed to stay in the second division, which was renamed First League (I liga) before the start of the 2008–09 season. Despite the deduction of six points as a penalty, Widzew managed to become champions once again, and were finally promoted to the Ekstraklasa. In total, Widzew played 35 seasons at the highest level before being relegated in the 2013–14 season.
Due to financial problems, Widzew finished last at the end of the 2014–15 I Liga season. Subsequently, the club ruled by Sylwester Cacek went bankrupt.
In consequence local businessmen led by Marcin Ferdzyn and Grzegorz Waranecki decided to take on amateur status as a new association called Stowarzyszenie Reaktywacja Tradycji Sportowych Widzew Lodz (Association of the Reactivation of the Sports Traditions of Widzew Lodz), which continues the tradition of the old RTS Widzew Lodz. The new association was registered in a Polish court on 2.07.2015, and within a few weeks of summer 2015 they managed to find new coach Witold Obarek and collect a new squad, which started the 2015/2016 season in the fifth tier of Polish football. In first season in IV League Widzew has promoted to higher tier. In season 2016/17 Widzew achieved third place in III League, after Drweca Nowe Miasto Lubawskie and LKS Lodz but next season yielded promotion to II League. In the season 2018/19 they finished on the fifth place with 55 points. The current season 2020/21 did not start to good with Widzew Lodz being on the 13th place.
This page also has a version in other languages: Видзев (russian)