After a glorious draw against Bayern last Saturday, the next highlight is ahead of us. The first match in the Europa League is played by our 1.FC Union against Royal Union St. Gilloise. Nice name, Union, right? And not so often found in professional football (as long the noun union is not mixed up with the verb unite/united): Union Solingen, Philadelphia Union, Union Luxembourg … . Consequently, it is also a rare name on the opposite side when it comes to cup or league games: Looking into archives, it seems the last time 1.FC Union plaid another Union for points was in an Intertoto-Cup group game in July 1967 vs Union Teplice. Before the Teplice games, there was a GDR cup match on 10 May 1956, where the opponent was Union Fürstenwalde, formed in 1919 as a section of ‘our’ SC Union 06 Oberschöneweide. But since the name of our club was SC Motor Berlin at the time, it was no 'Union derby'. Under the name 1.FC Union, we played several times against Fürstenwalde in the DDR-Liga, but then they were no longer called Union (something with 'D...' instead; now called Union again).
The heyday of the "Union derbies" was before 1933, when Union still had Oberschöneweide in its name and there was no national football league in Germany. The DFB championship was then played out in knockout rounds between the champions of the regional football associations. In the Verbandsliga Berlin-Brandenburg between 1914-1932 Union Oberschöneweide regularly met teams such as Union Potsdam (after 1945 called Empor) and BTuFC Union 1892, ‘our’ Union’s godfather club. After the merger with BFC Vorwärts 90 in 1927 the club changed its name to Blau-Weiss 90 Berlin (1 year in the Bundesliga 1986/87). The very first Union derby for points took place even earlier. On 24/09/1911, Union Oberschöneweide played in the VBB Kreisklasse 2 against Union 08 Halensee, today known as SC Charlottenburg.
Therefore - enjoy Thursday's 'Union derby' as a very rare event!