Uerdingen may be outside of the professional divisions now, but they were DFB Cup winners in 1985 and made the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup the following year…
bundesliga.com is taking you through all the teams to have graced Germany’s first division over the last 60 years – based on the number of seasons they’ve played up to and including 2023/24.
Bayer 05 Uerdingen/KFC Uerdingen 05
Years in Bundesliga: 14 (1975/76, 1979-81, 1983-91, 1992/93, 1994-96)
Most appearances: Friedhelm Funkel (254)
Most goals: Friedhelm Funkel (59)
Youngest player: Marcel Witeczek (17 years, nine months, 21 days)
Bundesliga fans nowadays are more than familiar with Bayer 04 from Leverkusen, but whatever happened to Bayer 05 from Uerdingen? The numbering is nothing to do with Uerdingen being the latest model, but from their founding in 1905 as FC Uerdingen 05. And if you’re looking for Uerdingen on a map, once a city in its own right, it is now a part of the city of Krefeld, itself just to the northwest of Düsseldorf and across the Rhine from Duisburg. It was the site of Bayer AG's second-biggest plant, hence the decision in 1953 to merge with the chemical giant's sports team and create FC Bayer 05 Uerdingen.
At the time in the fourth tier, the team reached the second level Regionalliga West in 1971 before a maiden Bundesliga promotion in 1975. Their top-flight stay only lasted a year as they yo-yoed before coming back up for the third time in 1983, beating Schalke in the play-off to kick off their best era. Under Karl-Heinz Feldkamp, who later led Kaiserslautern to Bundesliga glory, Uerdingen beat Bayern Munich 2-1 to win the 1984/85 DFB Cup and finished third behind the Bavarian giants and Werder Bremen in the following league campaign.
That same year, they won what readers of 11 Freunde magazine voted as the greatest football match of all time, beating East German rivals Dynamo Dresden 7-3 in their UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final second leg, having lost the first game 2-0 and even trailed 3-1 at half-time back home. They enjoyed an eight-year unbroken spell in the Bundesliga, as well as 11 out of 13 seasons between 1983 and 1996. The 1994/95 campaign was their last as Bayer 05 Uerdingen, with Bayer AG announcing they would be withdrawing sponsorship from the football team.
Their last Bundesliga season in 1995/96 therefore saw them play as KFC Uerdingen (not a fast food sponsor, just Krefelder Fußballclub), which is the name they still bear now. They finished bottom and have since tumbled down the divisions, going as low as the sixth tier between 2008 and 2011. A mini revival saw them return to the 3. Liga and professional football in 2018, but the club went into administration in 2021, which saw them automatically demoted to the fourth tier. A second straight drop means they now ply their trade in the fifth-tier Oberliga Niederrhein, making them the longest-serving Bundesliga club not currently playing at professional level.