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Mia san 115! FC Bayern’s milestone anniversary

Munich at the beginning of the 20th century was a flourishing centre for the arts, culture and architecture, with the Bohemian scene focused on the district of Schwabing. That was where a minor revolution with far-reaching consequences took place on Shrove Tuesday, 27 February 1900. It was when a handful of disgruntled young athletes founded FC Bayern Munich.

On the club’s 115th birthday, fcbayern.de looks back at the origins of a club that, according to current chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, has “grown into a global brand.”

“Let them go, they’ll be back!” That was the cry that followed the eleven young men who had stormed out of the Bäckerhöfl tavern near Munich’s Marienplatz. The Männer-Turn-Verein (Men’s Gymnastics Club) München (MTV) had gathered to try and resolve an internal dispute, as MTV’s footballers – early adopters of the new sporting discipline imported from England – wanted to join the South German FA and play in an organised league. The suspicious gymnasts refused to give permission.

World’s biggest sports club

Weeks prior to the fateful meeting, 17 footballers had expressed their dismay at the gymnastic club’s lack of interest in their plans and goals. Should MTV fail to support the footballers’ ambitions, the men said in a letter, they would leave and found a football club by the name of “FC Bayern”. The letter with its 17 signatures is now regarded as Bayern Munich’s founding charter.

The split ultimately took place on 27 February. Eleven of the 17 signatories were present at the meeting with MTV. After a fruitless exchange of views, Franz John led the walk-out and the group marched ten minutes to the north, reconvening at Café Gisela near Odeonsplatz. This was where FC Bayern was formally founded, with Franz John as the first chairman.

The new institution rapidly became Munich’s biggest football club, numbering 700 members by 1920. Nowadays, FC Bayern is the world’s biggest sports club by membership with a roll in excess of 250,000 members, with more than 3,800 official fan clubs all over the world. The club also posted record turnover of €528 million last year, while its trophy collection is unrivalled: 24 German championships, 17 DFB Cup triumphs, 5 Champions League/European Cup wins, the World Club Cup twice, and the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Cup once each.

Sporting highlights in 115 years of FC Bayern:

12 June 1932: The first German championship
Many Bayern fans cycled to Nuremberg to see FCB defeat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 with goals from Oskar Rohr and Franz Krumm. Richard Little Dombi was the coach and Kurt Landauer the president.

29 December 1957: The first DFB Cup
A 42,000 sell-out crowd in Augsburg saw Rudi Jobst score the only goal to beat Fortuna Düsseldorf.

26 June 1965: Promotion to the Bundesliga
After winning the southern regional league, Bayern dominated the promotion play-offs and sealed their place in the top flight with an 8-0 win away to Tennis Borussia Berlin, masterminded by coach Zlatko Tschik Cajkovski.

31 May 1967: The first European trophy
FC Bayern met Rangers in the European Cup Winners' Cup final in Nürnberg, Franz Bulle Roth scoring the only goal of the match in extra-time.

June 1969: The first double
Coach Banko Zebec led Bayern to their first Bundesliga triumph. The shield was presented on 7 June – and one week later, Gerd Müller scored twice in a 2-1 victory over Schalke to seal the DFB Cup and the club’s first double.

Golden 70s
Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Müller spearheaded Bayern’s most successful generation ever. The team won the European Cup three times in a row from 1974 to 1976, and also claimed a maiden World Club Cup in ’76 with a 2-0 victory over Cruzeiro Belo Horizonte. Beckenbauer and Co also won three league titles (1972-74) and the DFB Cup (1971).

The 80s: Breitnigge and Lattek
Led first by famed duo Paul Breitner & Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and then coaching legend Udo Lattek, FCB dominated the domestic scene with five Bundesliga titles (1980, 1981, 1985-87) and three DFB Cups (1982, 1984, 1986). FCB, who passed Nürnberg as the nation’s most successful club in 1986, could not make the same impression in Europe with a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa in the 1982 European Cup final and a 2-1 reverse to FC Porto in the 1987 edition.

15 May 1996: The first UEFA Cup
FC Bayern defeated Girondins Bordeaux 2-0 in Munich and 3-1 in France to claim the club’s solitary UEFA Cup triumph. President Franz Beckenbauer was in charge of the team following Otto Rehhagel’s departure just a few days before the first leg of the final.

23 May 2001: Back on the European throne
Two years after the dramatic and painful 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in Barcelona and 25 years after their previous European Cup success, FCB claimed the Champions League for the first time. Oliver Kahn was the hero against Valencia in Milan, saving three penalties in the shoot-out. The Reds took the World Club Cup again in November with a 1-0 extra-time victory over Boca Juniors.

The new millennium
FC Bayern is enjoying a period of sustained success. Since 1999 FCB have won the Bundesliga ten times under Ottmar Hitzfeld (5), Felix Magath (2), Louis van Gaal (1), Jupp Heynckes (1) and Pep Guardiola (1), with eight doubles as well.

The climax came in 2013 when FCB became the first German club to claim the treble. The Reds finished the year with five major trophies: the FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Champions League, German championship and DFB Cup.

FC Bayern reached the Champions League final three times between 2010 and 2013. After defeats in 2010 to Inter Milan and 2012 to Chelsea, Munich finally lifted the trophy again with a 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.