Video: Football reaches Germany

Gymnasium Martino Katharineum
Gymnasium Martino Katharineum

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The Ball goes in search of the first game of football in Germany. Just how did it start?

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We go in search of the first game of football in Germany — reputed to have taken place in this grammar school in Braunschweig.

I found a PDF (Acrobat Reader required) on the web which has the following to say about the game:

Die offizielle Geburtsstunde des Fußballspiels in Deutschland schlug in Braunschweig. Das genaue Datum ist unbekannt, festgehalten ist lediglich “Michaelis 1874″ – der 29. September 1874.

Der Initiator, Gymnasialprofessor und Turnlehrer Konrad Koch, sprach mehrfach davon, das Spiel im Oktober 1874 während eines Spielnachmittags am Gymnasium Martino-Katharineum mit seinen Schülern erstmals gespielt zu haben. Kochs Kollege, August Hermann, hatte sich aus England einen Ball besorgt und diesen einfach in die Schar der spielenden Jungen geworfen mit einem für Konrad Koch Überraschenden Ergebnis: “Der große Eifer, der alle zunächst Herangezogenen beseelte, machte es gleich im ersten Winter möglich, ja nötig, zweimal in der Woche, am Mittwochund dem Sonnabend-Nachmittag zu spielen; dabei war die Beteiligung der Einzelnen am Spiel durchweg rege und unablässig”

Roughly translated, this says:

The official birth of the game of football in Germany took place in Braunschweig. The exact date is not known, but it is commonly believed to have happened on the 29th September 1874.

The Initiator, gym and sport tutor Konrad Koch, spoke often about it, saying that the game was first played by his students in October of 1874 during an afternoon break at the Martino-Katharineum grammar school. Koch’s colleague, August Hermann, had procured a ball in England and had simply thrown the ball into the melee of playing students, with (for Konrad Koch) the unexpected result that “the great eagerness for the game which followed made it possible – nay necessary – to organise regular games on both Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout that first winter, and the enthusiasm of those taking part never waned”.

Written by on Thursday, June 8th, 2006

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