A quintessential yo-yo club in Germany's lower divisions, Rot-Weiß Oberhausen have nonetheless made their mark in the top flight, boasting a Bundesliga top-scoring defensive midfielder…
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.
Years in Bundesliga: 4 (1969-73)
Most appearances: Friedhelm Dick (126)
Most goals: Lothar Kobluhn (36)
Youngest player: Ditmar Jakobs (18 years, eight months, eight days)
Oberhausen slotted into the second tier after the Bundesliga was created, always finishing in the top half of their league before finally getting promoted in 1969. Their four-year stay was tough, never finishing higher than 14th, but historic in a way thanks to Lothar Kobluhn.
The defensive midfielder remains the only non-forward to be the Bundesliga’s top scorer thanks to his 24 goals in 1970/71, preventing Gerd Müller from making it five Torjägerkanone in a row. However, since Oberhausen were implicated in a match-fixing scandal at the time, Kicker refused to hand over the usual trophy for the division’s top scorer. It was only in 2008 to mark Kobluhn’s 65th birthday that they finally presented him with the award. Rot-Weiß are one of just 18 clubs in 60 seasons to produce a Bundesliga top scorer – and no club has done so with so few years in the top flight.
Their time in the Bundesliga came to an end in 1973. By 1989/90 they were in the fourth tier and only avoided dropping further thanks to goal difference. They returned to Bundesliga 2 in 1998 and enjoyed eight straight years there before back-to-back relegations in 2005 and 2006. They followed that with back-to-back promotions in 2007 and 2008, before consecutive drops again in 2011 and 2012 returned them to the fourth tier, where they currently play.