The heart of what is now Leverkusen was a village called Wiesdorf, which dates back to the 12th century. The entire area was rural until the late 19th century, when industry prompted the development that led to the city of Leverkusen, and to its becoming one of the most important centres of the German chemical industry. The chemist Carl Leverkus, looking for a place to build a dye factory, chose Wiesdorf in 1860. He built a factory for the production of artificial ultramarine blue at the Kahlberg in Wiesdorf in 1861, and called the emerging settlement "Leverkusen". The factory was taken over by the Bayer company in 1891; Bayer moved its headquarters to Wiesdorf in 1912. After asset confiscation at the end of the First World War, it became IG Farben. The city of Leverkusen proper was founded in 1930 by merging Wiesdorf, Schlebusch, Steinbüchel and Rheindorf, and was posthumously named after Carl Leverkus.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen was founded in 1904 by employees of the German pharmaceutical company Bayer, whose headquarters are in Leverkusen and from which the club draws its name. It was formerly the best-known department of TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen, a sports club whose members also participate in athletics, gymnastics, basketball and other sports including the RTHC Bayer Leverkusen (rowing, tennis and hockey). In 1999 the football department was separated from the sports club and is now a separate entity.
As is consistent with the UEFA Champions League, the respective U19 sides have a parallel competition. The venue for Bayer Leverkusen home matches is the Ulrich-Haberland Stadion. This venue is adjacent to the BayArena, the main ground for Bayer Leverkusen. The name of the stadium is a tribute to the former name of the BayArena.
This Pieman had already enjoyed a splendid lunch just up the road from the stadium at Brauhouse Janes. This culinary treat was to celebrate Andy Scott’s 50th birthday. The typical German cuisine was extremely welcome. After consuming a large pan of pork, potatoes, fried onion and sauerkraut, washed down with some fine German beer, there was little room for anything else.
On the way to the match, there was time to collect programmes for the evening match. This is always preferable abroad, as distribution is often erratic. The smaller stadium has a published capacity of 3200. Along one side there is a reasonably sized seated stand (covered in the central area). This is the side adjacent to the main stadium. The toilet and refreshment facilities are those of the main stadium.
There is uncovered terracing behind both goals and a small uncovered area of seating in one of the corners. The remaining side of the ground is not accessible for spectators but was used by the TV company broadcasting the match. Although segregation for supporters was in place, it was easy to watch the match from the main section.
|Pat Jennings and Martin Chivers|
Programme: None (team sheet issued)
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