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The First Vienna Football Club, Vienna

Nathaniel von Rothschild (1836-1905) is credited with having introduced football into Austria. One of the gardeners' sons at Hohe Warte, the gardens he created in Vienna, returning from England where he had learnt the game, gained his support for a team as a means of providing recreation for the estate staff - many of them English. With land and finance from Nathaniel, a club was formed in 1894 in the guest-house 'Zur schonen Aussicht' which still stands today. The First Vienna Football Club, the first football club in Austria was established on 22 August 1894. Nathaniel set aside a pasture near to the Hohe Warte Gardens upon which to play and also said to have granted the team its blue and-yellow kits, former jockey's shirts from his riding stables. The Manx player William Beale designed the triskelion logo, also in the Rothschild colours blue and yellow, which Vienna still uses today. The team played its first match on 15 November 1894 against the Vienna Cricket and Football-Club losing by 0 goals to 4, and creating a rivalry which lasted until the dissolution of the Cricketers' football team in 1936. The city of Vienna quickly became the centre of Austrian football and by the end of 1896 there were seven clubs playing there, several of which also fielded reserve sides.

In 1897, the chairman of the Cricketers' donated the Challenge Cup establishing a competition open to all football clubs in what was then Austria-Hungary, drawing teams from Vienna, Budapest, and Prague. The Cricketers' won the first cup competition in 1897, but First Vienna followed with consecutive cup titles in 1899 and 1900. The club also made a losing appearance in the 1907 final of the Wiener Cup. By 1915 the First Vienna Football Club had fallen out of first division play and did not return to the top flight until after the war in 1919. The Hohe Warte Stadium, which remains the club's home today was built in 1921. The club consistently finished in the top half of the league table through the 1920s, winning Austrian Cup titles in 1929 and 1930 before finally claiming the national championship in 1931. That same year the team also won the Mitropa Cup, one of Europe's first international club competitions. Vienna captured a second national title in 1933 with a third Austrian Cup following in 1937. Re-established after the war, Vienna remained competitive, but the club faded through the 1960s playing second division football in the 1970s and 1980s.

The First Vienna Football Club: ephemera, c.1960-1970

000/2379, 3 items

Items relating to the First Vienna Football Club: Club pennant in club colours (Rothschild blue and gold); programme for a match held Monday 29 October 1962 at Old Trafford between First Vienna and Manchester United; programme for a match held Tuesday 30 October 1962 at The Boleyn Ground between First Vienna and West Ham United.