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Karlsruher FV is a Germanmarker football club that played in Karlsruhemarker, Baden-W├╝rttembergmarker. Established on November 17, 1891 and dissolved in October 2004 after collapsing financially, KFV was a founding member of the DFB (Deutscher Fussball Bund or German Football Association) in 1900. The team went on to capture the national championship in 1910 with a 1:0 victory over Holstein Kielmarker. The club reformed in 2007.


Early prominence

KFV was one of Germany's most successful sides in the years before the First World War. The club captured the South German title eight times from 1901 to 1912, leading to national final appearances in 1905, 1910, and 1912. KFV's championship was earned under the direction of English coach William Townley, a prominent figure in the early history of the game in Germany.

KFV figures in the strange story of Germany's first national championship in 1903 which was won by VfB Leipzig in a 7:2 victory over DFC Prague. The Karlruhers were scheduled to play a semi-final match against Prag in Leipzigmarker, but cancelled their travel plans when they received a telegram - allegedly from the DFB (Deutscher Fussball Bund or German football Association) - indicating that the game had been re-scheduled. Prag was awarded a win by forfeit when their opponents failed to show, and so made an uncontested advance to the final in spite of vehement protests by KFV. It has never been discovered who sent the telegram.

Denied a place in the national final, Karlsruhe did manage to arrange to challenge Leipzig the following year in a match representing the contest that might have been, but lost the game 3:7.

KFV also played a key role in the incomplete national final of 1904. Beaten 1:6 by Britannia Berlin in a semi-final match played in Berlinmarker, Karlsruhe protested the result as under league rules the match was to have been played at a neutral venue. Ultimately, the DFB cancelled the final and the Viktoria trophy was not awarded that year.

From 1908, the club played in the new S├╝dkreis-Liga, which it won in 1910, 1911 and 1912.

KFV made its re-appearance after the First World War, first in the Kreisliga S├╝dwest and then in the Bezirksliga W├╝rttemberg-Baden, Gruppe Baden with the capture of the league championship in 1926. While they went on to dominate their division, the team was not able to make its way out of the South German league playoffs and back onto the national stage.

In 1933, Karlsruher FV took up play in the Gauliga Baden, one of the sixteen first division leagues established in the re-organization of German football under the Third Reich. The club was relegated in 1937, but made a prompt return to the top flight after a one year absence. Sent down again in 1941 they came back to play the 1943-44 season, after which the rump of the division struggled through just one more truncated season as Allied forces rolled through Germany in the last days of World War II.

Postwar play

KFV played in the Oberliga S├╝d where they finished dead last, five points in back of rivals Ph├Ânix Karlsruhe. Not immediately relegated as the league was being re-structured, the club played another season in the Oberliga S├╝d, and this time both Karlsruhe sides were relegated, although FV did manage to finish ahead of Ph├Ânix.

Karlsruher FV emerged in the 2nd Oberliga S├╝d in 1951-52 and played second division football there until being relegated in 1957. The club won two titles in the Amateurliga Nordbaden (III) in 1952 and 1974 but after this the team fell to tier V Kreisliga play before finally being dissolved in October 2004.


A club of the name Karlsruher FV returned to amateur league football in 2007, finishing 9th in the Kreisklasse C, Staffel 3 - Kreis Karlsruhe (X), the lowest division in the North Baden region, in 2007-08. The 2008-09 season proved disastrous for the club, coming last in its division with only one win and 21 loses in 24 games.

Notable former players


Team trivia

  • In 1909, Ph├Ânix Karlsruhe, known today as Karlsruher SC, brought the city its first national championship. KFV's win the following year makes Karlsruhe one of only three cities in Germany that have been home to two or more national football champions. The others are Munichmarker (FC Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 Munich) and Berlinmarker (Union 92 Berlinmarker, Viktoria 89 Berlin, Hertha BSC Berlin).
  • While playing for the national team in 1912, KFV's Gottfried Fuchs scored 10 goals in a contest against Russia to set a German international match record that still stands.
  • KFV co-founder Walther Bensemann established Internationalen FC Karlsruhe, the first football team in south Germany, in 1889. This club became part of KFV in 1894. He also had a hand in founding the Frankfurter Kickers a predecessor side to Eintracht Frankfurt. As well, Bensemann established kicker, Germany's first football magazine.


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