In the past, the local derbies versus Schwarz-Weiß Essen were big events, sometimes followed by more than 30,000 fans, however since their rivals decline the rivalry has wained in importance.[4][5] Although often clouded in political terms, the "reds" were left-wing and the "blacks" right-wing, in reality there was no real distinction. The rivalry was more based on geography of the city, a north (RWE) versus south (SWE) city divide.[6]

The city of Essen has been awarding honorary citizenships since 1879 but has (coincidentally) discontinued this tradition after the foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949. A notable exception was made in 2007, when Berthold Beitz, the president of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation received honorary citizenship for his long lasting commitment to the city.[47] The following list contains all honorary citizens of the city of Essen:[48]

Since 1978 Rot-Weiss has been a solid second- or third-tier club, with just one season spent in the Oberliga Nordrhein (IV) in 1998–99. The club has been plagued by financial problems that saw it denied a license in 1984, 1991, and 1994, leading to demotion from the 2.Bundesliga each time as a result. Bright spots during this period included winning the German amateur championship in 1992 and an appearance in the 1994 DFB-Pokal final, which they lost 1–3 to SV Werder Bremen.

RWE returned to the Regionalliga Nord (III) in 1999, and dropped still further to the Oberliga (IV) the next season. In 2004, they won promotion back to the 2. Bundesliga, but stumbled to a 17th-place finish and were relegated once again.

Until 2012 Rot-Weiss used to play in the Georg-Melches-Stadion (capacity 15,000), named in honour of a former club president. In 1956, the team's home field became the first stadium in West Germany to have floodlights.[3]

In November 2005 Pelé became an honorary club member (membership number 23101940).[1][2]

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Since August 2012 RWE has played in the new Stadion Essen (capacity 20,000). The naming rights to the stadium include RWE AG.

The club returned to first division football in the Oberliga West in 1948, where a series of solid performances led to a divisional championship in 1952. The pinnacle of the club's success came with a 2–1 win over Alemannia Aachen in the 1953 DFB-Pokal final, followed by a national championship in 1955 when it beat 1. FC Kaiserslautern 4–3. The following season, Rot-Weiss became the first German side to qualify for the European Cup.

Event details: NAME: FC Kray - Rot-Weiss Essen DATE: July 20, 2016 TIME: 17:00 UTC VENUE: KrayArena, Essen , Germany

Although mostly playing in lower divisions, the club enjoys solid fan support, with an average attendance of better than 6,000 per game.

Rot-Weiss became a fourth division side following the introduction of the 3. Liga in 2008 and a fifth division team after insolvency 2010.

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The biggest association football clubs in Essen are Rot-Weiss Essen (Red-White Essen) and Schwarz-Weiß Essen (Black-White Essen). Rot-Weiss Essen is playing in the fourth tier of the German football league system, Regionalliga West, and Schwarz-Weiß Essen in the fifth tier, Oberliga Nordrhein-Westfalen. Other football clubs are BV Altenessen, TuS Helene Altenessen, SG Essen-Schönebeck.

RWE won the fifth level NRW-Liga in 2010–11 and returned to Regionalliga West for the 2011–12 season.

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The last local elections took place on 27.September 2015. Thomas Kufen (CDU) was elected Lord Mayor[31] and the following political parties gained seats in the city council:

Their performance tailed off after this and RWE became just another mid-table side before they were relegated in 1961. The club then played most of the 1960s as a second division side, but did manage its first appearance in the top-flight Bundesliga in 1966–67. It returned to the Bundesliga for two seasons in 1969–70, and again, for four seasons beginning in 1973–74.

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Riots broke out in February 1917 following a breakdown in the supply of flour. There were then strikes in the Krupp factory.[18]

The RWE followers have a strong fan friendship with SV Werder Bremen, while another with Borussia Dortmund ended.

The team won the DFB-Pokal in 1953, and the German championship in 1955. The latter success qualified them to the first season of the European Cup.

The team reappeared in second division play on the strength of a first place Regionalliga finish, but narrowly missed staying up when they lost the critical final match of the 2006–07 season 0–3 to Duisburg.

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Rot-Weiss Essen is a German association football club based in Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia. The club currently plays in the fourth-tier Regionalliga West, at the Stadion Essen.

Fortuna Düsseldorf, Rot-Weiß Oberhausen and Wuppertaler SV Borussia are local rivals when they are playing in the same league (as took place in the 2007–08 season). The club's fiercest rivalry is with FC Schalke 04, from nearby Gelsenkirchen, with whom they contest the Ruhrderby.

Essen

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