Vienna Cricket and Football Club

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Surname Vienna Cricket and Football Club
Club colors Blue-black
Founded 23 August 1894
Place of foundation Vienna , Austria
Association headquarters Vienna

The Vienna Cricket and Football Club is a sports club from the Austrian capital Vienna and today mainly operates the sports of athletics and tennis . However, the former football section of the club is particularly well-known and of sport-historical value.


The club was founded by English people who had moved to Vienna as early as 1892 under the name Vienna Cricket Club Wien . The only sport that was initially practiced was English cricket . A club called the Vienna Cricket Club had already been founded in 1882; Whether there was a causal connection between the two clubs can no longer be clarified today.

When the English realized that the sport of cricket in Austria was not attracting any spectators and almost at the same time the sport of football was emerging more and more, they decided to expand their club to include this section and changed the club name to First Vienna Cricket and Football Club. After the Cricketers had not yet registered with the police, the founding documents were submitted to the association authorities in 1894. Co-founder and board member of the association was the Briton John Gramlick, who later founded the Challenge Cup .

The dispute over the first

The Cricketer
Viennese Cricketer
Full name Vienna Cricket and Football Club
place Vienna , Austria
Founded 23 August 1894
Dissolved October 29, 1911
Renaming to:
Wiener Amateur SV
Club colors Blue-black
Stadion Jesuitenwiese (1892–1903)
Cricketer-Platz Vorgartenstrasse (1904–1936)
Top league First class
successes 2 × Challenge Cup
Template: Infobox historical football club / maintenance / incomplete home
Template: Infobox historical football club / maintenance / incomplete outward

After the name change to First Vienna Cricket and Football Club , the First Vienna Football Club (now First Vienna FC 1894 ), which was officially founded on August 22, 1894, protested and the cricketers had to delete the name First from their name. The reason for this was that both associations submitted their statutes almost simultaneously to the association authorities in Vienna, which, however, were officially certified to Vienna 24 hours earlier. This means that Austria's oldest football club was officially only the second oldest due to its own negligence, which the English, who were so keen on the First in their name, were very displeasing. The British even spoke of scandal and corruption and so a rivalry that went beyond the sporting dimension developed between the two clubs, as it would later only exist between Rapid and Austria . At the same time, the dispute over the first in the club name sparked a keen interest in the football game from the public and the media.

The first derbies

On November 15, 1894, the two clubs played the first official football match in Vienna in front of around 300 spectators at the home of First Vienna FC, the Kuglerwiese in Döbling . The Cricketers, in whose ranks were only English and Irish, clearly won this first game 4-0. After the lost name dispute, this sporting success was a particular satisfaction for the blue-black cricketers. This encounter is still referred to as the birth of Austrian football, even though two teams from the ATRV Graz competed against each other in the Styrian metropolis on March 18, 1894 .

On November 29, 1894, the second leg followed on the Jesuitenwiese in the Prater, which the Cricketers again won 4-0. The Vienna had to wait for the third derby, which took place on April 14, 1895, to celebrate their first sporting success over the Prater people. Incidentally, the game ended with the "standard result" of 4-0 for Vienna at the time.

The successes from 1897 to 1904

The Cricketer 1897 in Budapest on the occasion of a game against the BTC

1898 Cricketer won the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary jubilee of Emperor Franz Josef on the Hohenwarte discharged anniversary tournament before Vienna, the SC Baden and FC 98 Vienna. This tournament was the first major tournament in Vienna, in which 12 teams of six (!) Players each took part.

A year earlier, in 1897, the Challenge Cup was introduced at the initiative of the board member of the Vienna Cricket and Football Club, John Gramlick . This competition, which was held according to the cup system, was open to all clubs in the empire and was unofficially regarded as the first championship of the Austro-Hungarian Empire . The cricketers were the first winner of the competition after a 7-0 final win on November 21, 1897. The Praterkicker lost the second final game against the eternal rival First Vienna FC in 1900 with 0: 2. On May 19, 1902, the title was brought to the Prater for the second time with a 2-1 win over the Hungarian finalists Budapesti Torna Club . Since the Cricketers clearly lost their fourth final in 1904 against Vienna AC 7-0, this was the last great success of the blue-blacks.

In 1904, the Football Union was founded and the Tagblatt Cup was organized . The Cricketers also played a major role in this championship mode over 12 rounds, but ultimately finished second with only two points behind the Vienna AC.

Disputes with the associations

Although the Cricketers had taken second place in the Tagblatt Cup in 1904, they left the association due to disputes with the Austrian Football Union . A year later they returned ruefully, but were no longer allowed to enter the current competition. In the 1902/03 season, the Prater people played again for the cup, but withdrew again from the competition on April 17, 1903, because the association had certified two games against the club. After the tensions between the ÖFU and the clubs had built up more and more, both the Vienna Cricket and Football Club and Vienna left the association in 1904 and founded the forerunner of today's ÖFB with the Austrian Football Association . After the ÖFU had dissolved in 1904 and the Tagblatt Cup was no longer played, the ÖFV announced the first Austrian and Viennese championships for the 1906/07 season. However, this happened without the consent of the big clubs, and so the Cricketers, together with the Vienna and the Vienna AC, brought this project down too by withdrawing from the championship in December 1906.

This behavior of the clubs was typical of the weakness of both the ÖFU and the ÖFV at the time. Both associations were founded on the initiative of the Cricketer and Vienna, but as soon as it came to preserving their own club interests, the powerful clubs (including the Vienna AC) revolted against the respective association. For this reason it was not until 1911 that a championship could finally be successfully organized with mandatory dates.

Spin-off and foundation of the Viennese amateurs

In 1910 there were disputes between officials and members of the Vienna Cricket and Football Club, which eventually grew into insurmountable differences. Then some officials and almost the entire team decided to leave the club and found a new club. The new club was entered in the club register on October 29, 1911 under the name Wiener Cricketer , but the Vienna Cricket & Football Club immediately protested against the new name. In December 1911, the new club was renamed Wiener Amateur SV , the direct predecessor of today's FK Austria Wien . Due to the reconciliation with the cricketers and the fact that almost the entire team of the black and blue now played with the purple and white amateurs, the club was accepted into the first division for the first championship season. So finally in 1911/12 there were also derbies between the cricketers and the amateurs, which created an atmosphere of their own due to the fact that with Prager, Hussak, Lowe, Preiß and the two Löwenfelds many former cricketers now ran for the amateurs had.

The much-cited story that made the Vienna Cricket & Football Club the direct predecessor of Wiener Austria does not correspond to reality, as both clubs existed at the same time until 1936. But footballers, officials and the “joke” were transferred to the violets, which means that they can at least be regarded as ideal predecessors.

Merger with AC Viktoria Vienna

The bloodletting of players who migrated to the Wiener Amateur SV in 1911 did not give the cricketers much hope of success for the championship 1911/12 . In the entire season, the black and blue achieved only two points without a single win. The competitor AC Viktoria Wien also had to struggle with financial and installation problems, and so the two clubs merged after September 24, 1911. At this point in time, just four laps had been completed. The Vienna Cricket & FC kept its name and the supremacy in the merger club, the games of AC Viktoria were canceled. Despite the concentration of the forces of the two previous competitors, the Cricketers only finished 11th and last place in the table and were relegated to 2nd class A.

Second and third division cricket

The club stayed in this class until 1916 and then moved into the third division for 3 years. In 1919/20 the Cricketers were again represented in the second class A and only withdrew voluntarily from the league at the end of the 1923/24 season after professionalism was also introduced in the second class . Until 1931, the Vienna Cricket & Football Club was still playing in the 3rd level and decided to merge with the professionally run sports club Frem , which has been playing in the second division since 1928 . In the 1931/32 and 1932/33 seasons, the now SC cricket-foreigner finished seventh and eleventh. In 1933 the merger between the two clubs was reversed. The Vienna Cricket and Football Club took over the license of the former partner and remained in the second division. But the cricketers could no longer match the successes of the past. After relegation from second grade in 1936, the club's football department was dissolved and an important chapter in Austrian football history was closed.

titles and achievements

Known players

For the first few years, the British kept to themselves on the Jesuit meadow in the Prater . The team was mainly recruited from employees from British company branches in Vienna. Many players in the early years worked for the English-run Viennese gas supply. Even if nationality played a role at the beginning, no consideration was given to the social position of the members. Simple factory workers played on a team with directors and even an Anglican clergyman.

The Cricket and Football Club also produced Austria's first football star. In this, as far as football was concerned, still very rough and brawny fighters-oriented time, the Englishman George Blackeye caused delight among the fans with his filigree and fine way of "playing" football. Blackeye, known as the dribbler king, also had a sharp shot and so the Brit, who worked as a director of a Viennese construction company in his private profession, became the Viennese's first football favorite.

The counterpart to Blackeye was the Irishman William Flavin . The famous but also notorious for his rough style of play, the Cricketer King of the Crickers caused the game to be abandoned for the first time in Austrian football history and in 1897 caused a serious foul on the Vienna player Lambacher, who broke his collarbone , also set a precedent for sports accidents. The court had acquitted the cricket player in the process initiated by Lambacher with the simplified explanation that football is sport and injuries must be accepted.

Cricketer Rudolf Wagner
from Sport & Salon , Vienna, January 3, 1900

Rudolf Wagner , who was born in Saxony, was also a prominent football personality at the turn of the century . He previously played for Wiener FC 1898 and then strengthened the cricketers both as field player and as a goalkeeper. The header specialist and later Austrian national player became known not only because of his soccer game - he was considered, especially among the women, as the handsome guy among the kickers of that time. After his untimely death on August 19, 1910 at the age of only 39, a series of six games between Austria and Hungary for the Wagner Cup, which the Hungarians won, was held in his honor between 1911 and 1913.

The first real Viennese among the cricket players was Max Johann Leuthe , who was so drawn to everything Anglophile that he even had his two first names changed to Mac John . Above all, Leuthe mastered the so-called "Fersler", who was even called "Maxler" after him. Leuthe later became the star player of the Vienna AC and also played twice for the Austrian national team. After his football career, he became a well-known sports journalist and eminent caricaturist .

The most famous “Stone Age kicker” of the cricketers was undoubtedly Hugo Meisl . He came to the club in 1900 as a 19-year-old and played for the cricketers until 1905. Meisl, a team-friendly but not above-average player, could not achieve any importance as a football player, but later became world famous as an international referee , official, team boss of the Austrian national team, general secretary of the ÖFB and FIFA delegate.

The First Vienna Cricket and Football Club produced several national players and well-known names by 1912, including Ludwig Hussak (14-time team player, from 1912 amateurs ), Charles Stanfield , who as a member of the Austrian national team scored four goals in the 5-4 success of the Austrians contributed via the Hungarians on October 9, 1904 (club colleague Richard Bugno scored the fifth goal ), and Viktor Löwenfeld , who was the last grown cricketer to make it into the Austrian national team and made his last international match in 1918.

Austrian national team

Other known players

Teddy Shires 1 unofficial international match (as the only cricketer played in the original 1901 international match against Switzerland )


The traditional home of the Vienna Cricket and Football Club is the Cricketer-Platz on Vorgartenstraße , which was built in 1904 on today's Meiereistraße between Hauptallee and Vorgartenstraße. In 1908 the first international soccer match between Austria and Germany took place there.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. football. (...) Viennese cricketer. In:  The morning. Wiener Montagblatt , No. 41/1910 (Volume I), October 31, 1910, p. 10, column 3. (Online at ANNO ). Template: ANNO / Maintenance / dmo.
  2. Location of the Cricketer Square ( Memento of the original from July 15, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /