A Scandinavian entry in our Lost Champions series today as we take a look at the former Danish and Swedish national title winners now sadly lost to history.
Although the Danish game has lost just four former champion clubs in its history, a couple of them were major footballing institutions that formed an essential part of the very fabric of the game there. To this day KB (Kjobenhavns Boldklub) remains Denmark’s most successful club with its haul of fifteen titles won between 1913 and 1980. Not far behind was B 1903 with seven championships won between 1920 and 1976 – the sixth highest total in Danish League history.
Both disappeared from the professional Danish game in 1991 when they merged in an attempt to create a second capital super club capable of competing with a then dominant Brondby. The new club was named FC Copenhagen and is going strong to this day with ten Danish titles to its name, second now only to KB, one of its constituent parts.
The other two Danish Lost Champions also ended up merged into a new club. Koge BK became the first Danish champions from outside Copenhagen in 1954 with a second title arriving in 1975. The seaport-based club collapsed into bankruptcy in 2009 and merged with Herfolge BK, a small club based in the Koge suburbs that had shocked the Danish game by landing a title win in 2000 before promptly reverting to type and being relegated the following season. This new club plays under the name of HB Koge.
Sweden’s football history encompasses just a single Lost Champion, a distinction that belongs to Göteborgs IF, one-time winner all the way back in 1903. The Gothenburg club was founded in 1900 from a merger of three local clubs and that championship success was all the more surprising considering its role as a feeder club to the then all-dominant Örgryte IS, themselves 10-time champions between 1896 and 1909.
In that 1903 championship final GIF defeated GFF (Göteborgs FF) 5-2. Curiously GFF also functioned as a feeder club and exists to this day without ever having been close again to become champions of Sweden. GIF disappeared within a few short years of their season of glory.