A blog dedicated to chronicling the history of SC Green White, a soccer club founded in Chicago in 1956.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


1981 was the 25th anniversary for Green White and they celebrated by having a huge season on the field and off. A resolution was passed the City Council of the City of Chicago, and signed by Mayor Byrne, declaring May 23, 1981 as "Green White Day" in Chicago, in honor of the club's 25th anniversary.

By the time the members gathered to celebrate the anniversary at the Donauschwaben Clubhouse on Lincoln Avenue in October, they had several on-field accomplishments to celebrate as well. The first team once again had the league's Player of the Year, captain Rudi Mayer (photo).

The youth program had an even better year. Led by team manager Helmut Filian, the U-12 boys won the state championship. Filian was in the midst of making major changes, and this was his first big success story. "We won the under-12 state championship—and I was very proud of that team, but I was proud of the whole youth program. We had eight teams. We usually divided the groups into A-teams and B-teams, the A-teams were our competitive teams, and the B-teams were the kids that liked to play for fun. It was always a tough balancing act, but for several years there we really pulled it off. I always believed that in order for the kids to perform at their best, it was important for them to look good. So I got corporate sponsorships to get the best uniforms possible. Before that we were wearing uniforms in eleven different shapes and sizes. Some of those old uniforms were just that...old uniforms.”

Among the players on that state championship team; sons of long-time members Adam Wambach, John Woolfe, Helmut Filian, Horst Melcher, Eckhard Kaempfer, Walter Melcher, Joe Schlenhardt, and Leo Skorochod. Future Herman Award winner as the NCAA College Soccer Player of the Year, Ken Snow, and his brother Steve were also on the team.

And while the youth and men's programs thrived, the women's team also had a milestone season. Team founder Maria Zimmer remembers it well. "I finally hung up my boots in 1981," she recalls, "but that last campaign will always be my favorite. It was the one and only season I was able to play with all three of my daughters. We were truly a soccer family, and Green White was at the center of it all."

Her middle daughter Tina was also Miss Green White that year. Other members of that 1981 women's team included Maria Blaas (coach), her daughter Linda, Sonja Melcher, and future club president Cindy Kaempfer.

Green White Off-The-Field

On October 10, 1981, Green White gathered in the Heim Der Donauschwaben at 4219 N. Lincoln Avenue to celebrate their 25th anniversary. The band Johnny Wagner's Polidor entertained the crowd, pausing only briefly for a ceremony honoring past and present players and board members.

The all-time leader in goals scored (Rudi Mayer--161 goals and counting), and games played (Joe Laxgang--856 games) were acknowledged. As were the board members who had been on the board the entire twenty-five years; Fritz Becker, Franz Stadler, Horst Melcher, Adam Harjung, Eckhard Kaempfer, and Henry Wittje. But the honored guest of the night was the man they all acknowledged as the father of the club, Martin Schneider, who was given a special award to thank him for his service.

Franz Stadler gave a brief history of the club in a speech, and ended it this way...

25 Years of Green White! The time has gone too fast.

The strength of our club has always been our club members. Our parties have always attracted big and friendly crowds; the masquerade balls, the anniversary dinners, the Schlachtfest, and the club picnics. Our ladies club has spent hours preparing for them, and making our clubhouse beautiful. The Executive Board is rightly regarded as one of the most active among all the German-American soccer clubs. They have particularly emphasized the true pride of our club, the youth division, again and again. The list of championships won by our youth teams is too long to mention at this time, but we did add to the list once again this year when our under-12 team won the state championship, and our under-16 team won the league championship.

And as we stand here today, the majority of the members who were there from the very beginning are still closely connected to the fate of Green White. The majority of them are still here, still contributing many hours of their time and effort to the cause, working to make this the best club it can be.

To the next 25 years!

May we always say: “Gruen Weiss Vor!”

Elsewhere in Soccer

1981 also brought Chicago it's first championship since 1963, when the Chicago Sting won the Soccer Bowl. Among the stars of that Sting team: German players Karl Heinz Granitza, Arno Steffenhagen, Ingo Peter, and Dieter Ferner. The coach of the team was Willi Roy, a former National Soccer League player, and a regular spectator of league games, including Green White's.

In Pop Culture

*The number one song of the year was "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes

*The Academy Award for best picture was given to "Chariots of Fire"

*The top rated television show of 1981 was "Dallas"

Elsewhere in 1981

~Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President of the United States. Only a few weeks later, John Hinkley attempted to assassinate him. Reagan survived a gunshot wound.

~Iran released the American hostages from the U.S. Embassy.

~Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer. Their wedding was a worldwide television event.

~Walter Cronkite stepped down as the anchor of the Evening News. He was replaced by 60 Minutes Correspondent Dan Rather.

Coming next month: 1982. Green White makes a big move.

As always, if you have any thing to add or correct in this month’s installment, please drop me a line at amishrick@yahoo.com. I consider this a group project, and a work in progress, so we can add and subtract until we get it all exactly correct. If you have photos you’d like to contribute, please do.