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VfL Bochum
VfL Bochum logo.svg
Full nameVerein für Leibesübungen Bochum 1848 Fußballgemeinschaft e. V.
Nickname(s)Die Unabsteigbaren (The Undescendables)
Der Blau (The Blues)
Founded26 July 1848; 174 years ago (1848-07-26)
31 January 1911; 112 years ago (1911-01-31) (Football section)
ChairmanHans-Peter Villis
Head coachThomas Letsch
2021–22Bundesliga, 13th of 18
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Verein für Leibesübungen Bochum 1848 Fußballgemeinschaft, commonly referred to as VfL Bochum (German pronunciation: [faʊ̯ʔɛfˌʔɛl ˈboːxʊm] (listen)) or simply Bochum, is a German association football club based in the city of Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia. The club has spent 35 seasons in the Bundesliga.


Founding to World War II

VfL Bochum is one of the oldest sports organizations in the world, claiming an origin date of 26 July 1848 when an article in the Märkischer Sprecher – a local newspaper – called for the creation of a gymnastics club. The Turnverein zu Bochum was then formally established on 18 February 1849. The club was banned on 28 December 1852 for political reasons and then reestablished on 19 June 1860. The club was reorganized in May 1904 as Turnverein zu Bochum, gegründet 1848 and formed a football department on 31 January 1911. On 1 April 1919, the club merged with Spiel und Sport 08 Bochum to form Turn- und Sportverein Bochum 1848. On 1 February 1924, the two clubs from the earlier merger split into the Bochumer Turnverein 1848 (gymnastics department) and Turn- und Sportverein Bochum 1908 (football, track and field, handball, hockey and tennis departments).[1]

Bochumer Turnverein 1848 was forced by the Nazi regime to merge with Turn- und Sport Bochum 1908 and Sportverein Germania Vorwärts Bochum 1906 into the current-day club VfL Bochum on 14 April 1938. After the merger, VfL Bochum continued to compete in the top flight as part of the Gauliga Westfalen.[1][2][3]

As World War II progressed, play throughout Germany became increasingly difficult due to player shortages, travel problems and damage to football fields from Allied bombing raids. VfL became part of the wartime side Kriegsspielgemeinschaft VfL 1848/Preußen Bochum alongside Preußen 07 Bochum before re-emerging as a separate side again after the war. Although they fielded competitive sides, they had the misfortune of playing in the same division as Schalke 04, which was the dominant team of the era. VfL's best result was therefore a distant second place in 1938–39.

Postwar and entry to Bundesliga play

Historical chart of VfL Bochum league performance
Historical chart of VfL Bochum league performance

Following World War II, the football section resumed play as the independent VfL Bochum 1848 and played its first season in the second division 2. Oberliga West in 1949, while Preußen Bochum went on to lower tier amateur level play. VfL captured the division title in 1953 to advance to the Oberliga West for a single season. They repeated their divisional win in 1956 and returned to the top-flight until again being relegated after the 1960–61 season.

With the formation of the Bundesliga, Germany's new professional league, in 1963 VfL found itself in the third tier Amateurliga Westfalen. A first-place result there in 1965 raised them to the Regionalliga West (II), from which they began a steady climb up the league table to the Bundesliga in 1971. During this rise, Bochum also played its way to the final of the 1967–68 DFB-Pokal, where they lost 1–4 to 1. FC Köln.

In spite of being a perennial lower table side, Bochum developed a reputation for tenaciousness on the field in a run of 20 seasons in the top flight. The club made a repeat appearance in the DFB-Pokal final in 1988, losing 0–1 to Eintracht Frankfurt. Relegated after a 16th-place finish in the 1992–93 season, the team has become a classic "yo-yo club", bouncing up and down between the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga. The club finished in 5th place in the Bundesliga in 1996–97 and 2003–04, which earned them appearances in the UEFA Cup. In 1997, they advanced to the third round, where they were eliminated by Ajax, and in 2004, they were eliminated early through away goals (0–0 and 1–1) by Standard Liège. In the 2020–21 season, the club won the 2. Bundesliga, earning promotion to the Bundesliga.


Today's sports club has 5,000 members, with the football department accounting for over 2,200 of these. Other sections now part of the association include athletics, badminton, basketball, dance, fencing, gymnastics, handball, field hockey, swimming, table tennis, tennis, and volleyball.


See also: List of VfL Bochum players

Current squad

As of 31 January 2023[4]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Germany GER Manuel Riemann (vice-captain)
2 DF Costa Rica CRC Cristian Gamboa
3 DF Brazil BRA Danilo Soares
4 DF Serbia SRB Erhan Mašović
5 MF Poland POL Jacek Góralski
6 MF Germany GER Patrick Osterhage
7 MF Austria AUT Kevin Stöger
8 MF France FRA Anthony Losilla (captain)
9 FW Germany GER Simon Zoller
10 MF Germany GER Philipp Förster
11 FW Japan JPN Takuma Asano
16 DF Greece GRE Kostas Stafylidis
17 FW Philippines PHI Gerrit Holtmann
18 DF England ENG Jordi Osei-Tutu
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 DF Ukraine UKR Ivan Ordets (on loan from Dynamo Moscow)
21 GK Germany GER Michael Esser
22 MF Ghana GHA Christopher Antwi-Adjei
23 DF The Gambia GAM Saidy Janko (on loan from Real Valladolid)
24 DF Greece GRE Vasilios Lampropoulos
25 DF Germany GER Mohammed Tolba
26 GK Sweden SWE Marko Johansson (on loan from Hamburger SV)
28 MF Cameroon CMR Pierre Kunde (on loan from Olympiacos)
29 FW Germany GER Moritz Broschinski
30 DF Germany GER Dominique Heintz (on loan from Union Berlin)
31 DF Germany GER Keven Schlotterbeck (on loan from SC Freiburg)
33 FW Germany GER Philipp Hofmann
34 GK Germany GER Paul Grave
35 FW Republic of the Congo CGO Silvère Ganvoula

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
FW Germany GER Luis Hartwig (at SKN St. Pölten until 30 June 2023)
DF Germany GER Tim Oermann (at Wolfsberger AC until 30 June 2023)
DF Germany GER Jannes Horn (at Nuremberg until 30 June 2023)
DF Germany GER Moritz Römling (at Rot-Weiss Essen until 30 June 2023)
FW France FRA Lys Mousset (at Nîmes Olympique until 30 June 2023)

For recent transfers, see List of German football transfers summer 2022#VfL Bochum and List of German football transfers winter 2021–22#VfL Bochum.

Notable players

See also: Category:VfL Bochum players



League results

Fußball-Bundesliga2. Fußball-BundesligaFußball-Bundesliga2. Fußball-BundesligaFußball-Bundesliga2. Fußball-BundesligaFußball-Bundesliga2. Fußball-BundesligaFußball-BundesligaFußball-Bundesliga2. Fußball-BundesligaFußball-Bundesliga2. Fußball-BundesligaFußball-BundesligaRegionalliga West (1963-74)Verbandsliga Westfalen2nd Oberliga WestOberliga West (1947-63)2nd Oberliga WestOberliga West (1947-63)2nd Oberliga WestLandesliga WestfalenLandesliga WestfalenGauliga Westfalen

European record

Competition Pld W D L GF GA
UEFA Cup 8 2 3 3 15 14
UEFA Intertoto Cup 28 10 8 10 37 33
Total 36 12 11 13 52 47

VfL Bochum II

Main article: VfL Bochum II



Ruhrstadion (also known as the Vonovia Ruhrstadion under a sponsorship deal) was one of the first modern football-only stadiums in Germany. It was built in the 1970s on the traditional ground of TuS Bochum 08 at the Castroper Straße, north of the city centre.

The fully roofed venue's capacity is 27,599, including standing room for 12,025.[5]



Current staff

As of 22 September 2022
Name Position
Thomas Letsch Manager
Frank Heinemann Assistant manager
Jan Fießer Assistant manager
Peter Greiber Goalkeeping coach
Jörn Menger Fitness coach
Stefan Bienioßek Fitness coach


Years Coach
1938–? Georg Hochgesang
1953–1956 Emil Melcher
1956–1960 Herbert Widmayer
1960–1961 Fritz Silken
1961–1963 Hermann Lindemann
1963–1967 Hubert Schieth
1967–1972 Hermann Eppenhoff
1972–1979 Heinz Höher
1979–1981 Helmuth Johannsen
1981–1986 Rolf Schafstall
1986–1988 Hermann Gerland
1988–1989 Franz-Josef Tenhagen
1989–1991 Reinhard Saftig
1991 Rolf Schafstall (caretaker)
1991–1992 Holger Osieck
1992–1995 Jürgen Gelsdorf
1995–1999 Klaus Toppmöller
1999 Ernst Middendorp
1999 Bernard Dietz (caretaker)
2000–2001 Ralf Zumdick
2001 Rolf Schafstall (caretaker)
2001 Bernard Dietz
2001–2005 Peter Neururer
2005–2009 Marcel Koller
2009 Frank Heinemann (caretaker)
2009–2010 Heiko Herrlich
2010 Dariusz Wosz (caretaker)
2010–2011 Friedhelm Funkel
2011–2012 Andreas Bergmann
2012–2013 Karsten Neitzel (caretaker)
2013–2014 Peter Neururer
2014 Frank Heinemann (caretaker)
2014–2017 Gertjan Verbeek
2017 Ismail Atalan
2017–2018 Jens Rasiejewski (caretaker)
2018 Heiko Butscher (caretaker)
2018–2019 Robin Dutt
2019 Heiko Butscher (caretaker)
2019–2022 Thomas Reis
2022 Heiko Butscher (caretaker)
2022– Thomas Letsch


  1. ^ a b "Historie". VfL Bochum official website (in German). VfL Bochum. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
  2. ^ "Historie / Chronologie". VfL Bochum official website (soccer department) (in German). VfL Bochum. Archived from the original on 19 August 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
  3. ^ Grüne, Hardy (2001). Vereinslexikon. Kassel: AGON Sportverlag ISBN 3-89784-147-9
  4. ^ "VfL Bochum – Kader" [VfL Bochum – Squad] (in German). VfL Bochum. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  5. ^ "rewirpowerSTADION Daten & Fakten" [rewirpowerSTADION data & facts] (in German). VfL Bochum. Archived from the original on 28 April 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2017.