Tifo at Gladbach game
Sat, 27/08/22, 18:30
Bayern fans celebrate 50 years of the Südkurve
The Südkurve has been the home of FC Bayern fans for 50 years, and the record champions’ supporters celebrated that special anniversary with an impressive tifo at the Bundesliga game at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach. It consisted of a collage over the top and middle tiers with logos of the city and the club, cut-outs of the Olympiastadion and a banner with the words "Triumphs and victories, hurdles and losses – the Curve goes on with confidence".
How the legend of the Südkurve was born
The legendary Südkurve was born on 2 August 1972, according to contemporary witnesses. And that, ironically, was at an 1860 home game. It was a cool summer evening, 15 degrees at kick-off. Of course, the brand-new Olympiastadion was nevertheless ‘sold out’ three and a half weeks before the Olympic Games – it was a derby! Bayern, as the Bundesliga champions, had just returned from holidays. Their city rivals were down in the Regionalliga and had already been in training, so the tough game ended ‘only’ 3-1 for the Reds. It was not a particularly significant derby, yet something historic had happened that evening. Gerd Müller's opening goal in the 47th minute was the first goal to be cheered by the Bayern fans under the legendary scoreboard above the Südkurve.
Schalke fans made a small contribution
Bayern's first match at the Olympiastadion was still in the 1971/72 season as they hosted Schalke on Matchday 34. The club’s debut there on 28 June 1972 saw Udo Lattek side clinch the title with a brilliant 5-1 win and celebrate with the fans, who were not yet in the Südkurve but quite far down in Block R2, perhaps also in Block S. So how did it come about that the Reds ultimately chose the Südkurve as their home?
Schalke fans probably made a small contribution to this. They were the first ones to sit and stand there on 28 June. And because they had the edge of the tent roof above them and their shouts echoed louder than those of the Reds from the back straight, they had the edge, at least acoustically. “That was a main reason,” confirms Franz Willer, who was already part of the hard core of FCB fans in Grünwalder Stadion times, of the later plan to move to the Südkurve. Klaus Billmeier, also one of the pioneers of the Südkurve, has another, pragmatic explanation: “We simply wanted to be behind the goal. And then it was also a question of price,” he says.
The Südkurve captivates the crowds
At the derby on 2 August, a large part of the fans already found themselves in the Südkurve. “But it took three or four games until we had found each other,” said Willer. The Südkurve acted as a mood magnet for the other visitors, especially the youngsters. Little by little, from game to game, more and more people came to the Südkurve. The fans wanted to see more than just a game. So, the group and the cohesion grew - and the legend of the Südkurve took its course.