Verein fur Leibesubungen Bochum 1848 Fusballgemeinschaft, commonly referred to as simply VfL Bochum [faʊ̯ ʔɛf ˈʔɛl ˈboːxʊm], is a German association football club based in the city of Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia. The club has spent 34 seasons in the Bundesliga.
Founding to World War II
VfL Bochum is one of the oldest sports organizations in the world, claiming an origin date of 26 July 1848 when an article in the Markischer Sprecher – a local newspaper – called for the creation of a gymnastics club. The Turnverein zu Bochum was then formally established on 18 February 1849. The club was banned on 28 December 1852 for political reasons and then reestablished on 19 June 1860. The club was reorganized in May 1904 as Turnverein zu Bochum, gegrundet 1848 and formed a football department on 31 January 1911. On 1 April 1919, the club merged with Spiel und Sport 08 Bochum to form Turn- und Sportverein Bochum 1848. On 1 February 1924, the two clubs from the earlier merger split into the Bochumer Turnverein 1848 (gymnastics department) and Turn- und Sportverein Bochum 1908 (football, track and field, handball, hockey and tennis departments).
Bochumer Turnverein 1848 was forced by the Nazi regime to merge with Turn- und Sport Bochum 1908 and Sportverein Germania Vorwarts Bochum 1906 into the current-day club VfL Bochum on 14 April 1938. After the merger, VfL Bochum continued to compete in the top flight as part of the Gauliga Westfalen.
As World War II progressed, play throughout Germany became increasingly difficult due to player shortages, travel problems and damage to football fields from Allied bombing raids. VfL became part of the wartime side Kriegsspielgemeinschaft VfL 1848/Preusen Bochum alongside Preusen 07 Bochum before re-emerging as a separate side again after the war. Although they fielded competitive sides, they had the misfortune of playing in the same division as Schalke 04, which was the dominant team of the era. VfL's best result was therefore a distant second place in 1938–39.
Postwar and entry to Bundesliga play
Following World War II, the football section resumed play as the independent VfL Bochum 1848 and played its first season in the second division 2. Oberliga West in 1949, while Preusen Bochum went on to lower tier amateur level play. VfL captured the division title in 1953 to advance to the Oberliga West for a single season. They repeated their divisional win in 1956 and returned to the top-flight until again being relegated after the 1960–61 season.
With the formation of the Bundesliga, Germany's new professional league, in 1963 VfL found itself in the third tier Amateurliga Westfalen. A first-place result there in 1965 raised them to the Regionalliga West (II), from which they began a steady climb up the league table to the Bundesliga in 1971. During this rise, Bochum also played its way to the final of the 1967–68 DFB-Pokal, where they lost 1–4 to 1. FC Koln.
In spite of being a perennial lower table side, Bochum developed a reputation for tenaciousness on the field in a run of 20 seasons in the top flight. The club made a repeat appearance in the DFB-Pokal final in 1988, losing 0–1 to Eintracht Frankfurt. Relegated after a 16th-place finish in the 1992–93 season, the team has become a classic "yo-yo club", bouncing up and down between the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga. The club's best Bundesliga results have come relatively recently as fifth-place finishes in 1996–97 and 2003–04, which earned them appearances in the UEFA Cup. In 1997, they advanced to the third round, where they were eliminated by Ajax, and in 2004, they were eliminated early through away goals (0–0 and 1–1) by Standard Liege.
Today's sports club has 5,000 members, with the football department accounting for over 2,200 of these. Other sections now part of the association include athletics, badminton, basketball, dance, fencing, gymnastics, handball, field hockey, swimming, table tennis, tennis, and volleyball.
This page also has a version in other languages: Бохум (@@русский@@)