The football club from Köpenick, a district in the south-east of Berlin, has conquered the highest tier of German football by storm. The Union fans play a big part in the success of the club, as they are famous for their pride, humility and modesty, which stems from their deeply rooted connection to Union Berlin being a working class club from the historically overlooked East-Germany.

Together, the club and its fans have built something truly remarkable: a genuine pleasure in football that they share, which extends beyond the realm of commerce and industry. The Game  has highlighted some of the club’s key moments and created a visual storyline for the history of 1.FC Union Berlin.

Before 2000: Lower Leagues and Invalidated Promotion

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IMAGO / Camera 4꘡Promotion celebration. Head coach Frank Pagelsdorf opening a beer barrel, promotion would later be invalidated because of licensing problems. Season 1992/93.

2000/2001: Promotion 2. Bundesliga and DFB-Cup Final

Union Berlin: A Football Fairytale in Germany
IMAGO / Camera 4 | A young fan cheers on Union Berlin before the DFB-Cup Final in 2000/01 against Schalke 04, Olympiastadion. 26 May 2001, Berlin, Germany.

2003-2005 Relegations to the 4th Division

Union Berlin: A Football Fairytale in Germany
IMAGO / Bernd König | Saddened Union fan after relegation to third division Regionalliga Nord, 2003/04. Germany.

2007/2008: Promotion 2. Bundesliga

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IMAGO / epd | Impressions from Alte Försterei in 2009. Berlin, Germany.

2008/2009: Fans Renovate the Stadium “Alte Försterei”

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IMAGO / Matthias Koch | Voluntary worker, Kay Kunke, stands proud in front of the nearly finished Alte Försterei, 2009. Berlin, Germany.

2009-2018: Establishing in 2. Bundesliga

IMAGO / Baering | Newly built Main stand at Alte Försterei, 2014. Berlin, Germany.

2019: Promotion 1. Bundesliga

imago images / Sven Simon
IMAGO / Sven Simon | Fans celebrate the promotion with player Sebastian Polter, Striker, 2019. Berlin, Germany.

Since 2020: Journey to the Top & Europa

IMAGO / Contrast | Ultras of Union light up the stands with flares and smoke during the city derby against Hertha BSC, Olympiastadion Berlin.
IMAGO/Matthias Koch
IMAGO / Matthias Koch | Dirk Zingler, the strong man behind Union Berlin’s success throughout the years.
IMAGO / pepphoto / Horst Mauelshagen | Striker Kevin Behrens celebrates his equaliser against Borussia Dortmund, 22/23 season, Signal-Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany.
IMAGO / camera4+ | The team surrounds Rani Khedira and celebrates ecstatically after his winning goal against Werder Bremen on the last match day of the Bundesliga, which secured a Champions League spot for Union Berlin, 22/23, Stadion an der Alten Försterei, Berlin, Germany.
IMAGO/Beautiful Sports
IMAGO / Beautiful Sports / Luciano Lima | Long-time captain and club icon Christopher Trimmel celebrates Union Berlin's qualification for the 23/24 UEFA Champions League with a cardboard cutout of the trophy, Stadion an der Alten Försterei, Berlin, Germany.
IMAGO/Matthias Koch
IMAGO / Matthias Koch | Head Coach Urs Fische celebrates his achievement of leading Union Berlin to the UEFA Champions League, Stadion an der Alten Försterei, Germany.

Article and image selection by Johannes Häring.