SportFreunde Ricklingen

Founded 1906, this small club from the Hannover suburbs remained in obscurity until the mid 1990s, when they appeared in the 3rd division level.

The roots go back to 1906, with the founding of the Freie Turnerschaft Ricklingen, a gymnastics club that joined the Arbeitersportbund . Football was added to the mix in 1913. The club basically kicked aruond in various "worker's" sports leagues, and was banned by the Nazis in 1933. After WW-II, old members got together and rebuilt the club, which was now known as Sportfreunde Ricklingen.

Success on the field was modest, although by 1958 they managed promotion into the Amateuroberliga Niedersachsen, which then the 2nd level. But when the Bundesliga came in, they didn't make the cut with the new organization, and were dropped all the way to the 4th division, essentially disappearing from view.

The appearance in the 3rd division was undobutedly one of the footballing highpoints, but almost sunk the club financially. After managing to survive a couple of seasons, things went downhill rapidly. The financial burden of eth 3rd division proved too much, especially when some sponsors deserted the club. In the 98-99 campaign, the only question early on was whether the Hannoveraners would set the record for worst Regionalliga squad ever. However, in the 2nd half of the season, they played somewhat decently, although still dead last. As often happens, one crap leads to another, and Ricklingen immediately dropped again the next year. Since then, the main emphasis has been to get the debt down to manageable levels, and compete as best as they can.

Fullname Sportfreunde Ricklingen e.V.
City Hannover (Niedersachsen). Pop: 516,500 (2002). A city district of Hannover, approximately 44,000 inhabitants.
Address Mühlenholzweg 4b, 30459 Hannover
Phone: (0511) 422211
Colors Blue jersey, black shorts.
Stadium Beekestadion. Capacity: 6,000
Built in 1962.
Pub Grub The Vereinsgaststätte, located at the club office, is closed Mondays, otherwise open 3:00pm-11:00pm, opens earlier on weekend.
The Net Official site:

Recent History:

1963-93		(lower divisions)

1993-94	(IV)	Verbandsliga Niedersachsen		6th
1994-95	(IV)	Oberliga Niedersachsen/Bremen		4th
1995-96	(IV)	Oberliga Niedersachsen/Bremen		1st
1996-97	(III)	Regionalliga Nord			11th
1997-98	(III)	Regionalliga Nord			13th
1998-99	(III)	Regionalliga Nord			18th
1999-00	(IV)	Oberliga Niedersachsen			16th
2000-01	(V)	Verbandsliga Niedersachsen/West		13th
2001-02	(V)	Verbandsliga Niedersachsen/West		13th
2002-03	(VI)	Landesliga Hannover			1st
2003-04	(V)	Verbandsliga Niedersachsen/West
2004-05	(V)	Verbandsliga Niedersachsen/West
2005-06	(VI)	Bezirksoberliga Hannover		2nd
2006-07	(V)	Niedersachsenliga-West			14th
2007-08	(VI)	Bezirksoberliga Hannover	

(c) Abseits Guide to Germany