50 years of friendship
Fri, 22/09/23, 12:00
How did the fan friendship between Bayern and Bochum begin?
Around 620 kilometres separate Bochum and Munich. There’s also a gulf between VfL and Bayern when it comes to silverware. However, a bond has existed between the clubs for 50 years. Ahead of Saturday’s Bundesliga encounter between the sides, fcbayern.com looks at the story behind the friendship between fans of the record champions and the Ruhr club.
A long-standing fixture
The Matchday 5 encounter is the 80th time Bayern and Bochum will meet in competitive fixtures. VfL in fact won the first meeting in May 1968, claiming a 2-1 victory in the DFB Cup semi-final. However, FCB then started to dominate the results and now have 53 wins to Bochum’s 10 (plus 16 draws). Away from the pitch, those numbers mean little, since it’s more about togetherness between the two sets of fans. Bayern and Bochum supporters boast a friendship that is one of the oldest in German football, but the start of things was anything but harmonious.
A rough start to a long friendship
The origins of the current friendship go back to 3 November 1973, when a team including Franz Beckenbauer and Sepp Maier won 1-0 in front of 32,000 at the Castroper Straße thanks to Uli Hoeneß’s goal on Matchday 14 of the 1973/74 Bundesliga season. While the Bayern players were celebrating the victory on the pitch, there were disagreements between the two sets of fans. A number of Bayern supporters were attacked after the game by Bochum fans before the ‘Bochumer Jungen’, VfL’s oldest fan group, stepped in. Over a reconciliatory drink, the Bayern and Bochum supporters exchanged contact information and the friendship between the two fan groups was born.
A friendship far beyond sport
Reciprocation began as soon as the reverse fixture in Munich as the ‘Bochumer Jungen’ were allowed to do a lap around the Olympiastadion track and greet the Bayern fans. They carried a large banner saying "VfL Fanclub greets FC Bayern". And so, over the 1970s, an ever-closer relationship gradually developed between the clubs. Whenever the two teams met in the Bundesliga, numerous fans would make their way to Bochum or Munich in the early hours of the morning. Before kick-off, they would get in the mood for the match together before heading to the Olympia or Ruhrstadion where the fan groups would support their teams.
Still connected now
Even though Bochum have suffered relegation to the second division a few times over the past five decades, the fan friendship between the two clubs has always remained intact. True to the common saying "No one can keep good friends apart", the fan groups celebrated the 50th anniversary of their friendship with a very special event in February this year. Before kick-off between the two sides, the south curve was adorned with an impressive tifo featuring the coats of arms of both clubs as well as the words "50 years of Bayern and VfL" on a red and blue background. Meanwhile, the Bochum block displayed "Found decades ago - connected forever". The friendship and cohesion between VfL and Bayern will therefore continue in the future - so fans can look forward to the next 50 years together!
Read up on stats and facts ahead of the next meeting on Saturday: