Tennis Borussia Berlin are one of five clubs from the capital to appear in the Bundesliga and introduced Jerome Boateng to the footballing world.
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.
Tennis Borussia Berlin
Years in Bundesliga: 2 (1974/75, 1976/77)
Most appearances: Jürgen Schulz (67)
Most goals: Benny Wendt (20)
Youngest player: Detlef Bruckhoff (18 years, four months, 20 days)
As the name suggests, Tennis Borussia Berlin was originally a tennis (and ping pong) club from Berlin, eventually including football in 1903. TeBe were regulars at the top end of Berlin’s state league and were coached in the 1920s by later Germany head coach Otto Nerz and also saw Sepp Herberger – the man who led Germany to 1954 World Cup glory – spend four years as a player in Berlin. However, the club missed out on the inaugural Bundesliga season in 1963.
While many capital teams started to fade away in the following years, TeBe remained a top side in the Regionalliga Berlin and competed in the promotion play-offs four times before finally making it to the big time in 1974. It meant the 1974/75 campaign gave us the first Berlin derby in the Bundesliga as Tennis Borussia took on Hertha. Both games were played at the Olympiastadion and were won by the Old Lady. Five points in the first half of the season was never going to be enough, but TeBe did at least finish second-bottom.
And like a tennis ball, they bounced straight back the year after, winning the second edition of the Bundesliga 2 Nord ahead of Borussia Dortmund under Helmuth Johanssen, who had guided Eintracht Braunschweig to their 1967 Bundesliga title. Johanssen left and was replaced by Rudi Gutendorf for their 1976/77 Bundesliga return. And although new signing Benny Wendt would score 20 times and Borussia would claim wins over city rivals Hertha, European champions Bayern Munich and league leaders Cologne – which all saw attendances grow for Berlin’s ‘other club’ – TeBe still finished 17th again.
Up to the turn of the millennium, they would flit between the second and third tiers – mostly playing in the latter – until financial and licencing issues saw them tumble and go as low as the sixth tier in 2011. A mini revival saw them return to the fourth-tier Regionalliga in 2020, but they will again compete in the fifth tier in 2023/24. Their position in Berlin now sees TeBe mostly as a club for youth players before they (mostly) get hoovered up by Hertha. Former youth players in recent years include Jerome Boateng, Ashkan Dejagah and Muhamed Besic.