Not many football clubs opt to make their mascot a key part of their identity, but 1. FC Köln (the number at the start of the name point out that it is the first football club in the town) certainly belongs in that group. The club’s crest, nickname (The Billy Goats) and merchandise are all based around Hennes, a goat donated by a circus in 1953 and named after Hennes Weisweiler, the club’s legend. With Köln winning three national titles and four DFB-Pokals during its lifespan, one could argue that the animal has brought them its fair share of good fortune. FC Köln are commonly named FC Cologne in English.
Müngersdorfer Stadion (1948-2001)
Sportpark Müngersdorf (2002-)
German football championship/Bundesliga: 3
Zlatko Čajkovski, Heinz Flohe, Bernhard Cullmann, Harald Schumacher, Morten Olsen, Toni Polster, Bodo Illgner, Tomasz Kłos
Most played games: Harald Schumacher (491)
Top goalscorer: Hannes Löhr (208)
Köln was founded in 1948 through a merger of two older Cologne clubs, Kölner BC and Spielvereinigung 1907 Köln-Sülz. From the very beginning, the new club established themselves as a rival to be respected; it only took them six years to claim their first division title in the competitive Oberliga West, a feat they would repeat four more times. Köln took it a step further by winning its first national title in 1962, routing 1. FC Nürnberg 4-0 in the final.
That league title proved to be a major factor in Köln getting an invitation for the newly-formed Bundesliga. The invitation was justified straight away, as the club made the headlines by winning the Bundesliga in its inaugural season. The following year, they made a deep run in the European Cup, but eventually lost to Liverpool in one of the most memorable quarterfinals in European football history. After two goalless matches and a 2-2 draw in the third game, the tie was decided by a coin toss.
This bad defeat did not leave too big a mark on the club, however. After winning its first DFB-Pokal in 1968, the 70s proved to be an even more successful period for the club. Köln claimed another DFB-Pokal in 1977, before following it up with a “double” the following year, thus becoming one of only four German clubs to achieve that feat. Their last trophy, the fourth DFB-Pokal, came in 1983.
In what would be the club’s final moment in the spotlight for a while, Köln managed to make their way to the UEFA Cup final in 1986, where they eventually lost to Real Madrid with an aggregate score of 3-5.
The reason a goat is visible in the logo depends on the citcumstance that a goat was donated to the club by a circus in 1953 with the wish of it being a mascot for the team. Hence the club’s nickname being The Billy Goats”, or “Die Geißböcke” in German.